Usability in general
Usability is the ease of use for everything, especially websites (well, not especially, it’s just that we will be speaking of this aspect in this post, plus this way it sounds cooler). No matter if we are talking mobile usability testing or website usability testing or whatever else we may be sure of one thing only. It has to be tested hard and good.
Internet is a place where lots of magic may happen. It is overfilled with fantastic, entertaining, educating, and health-serving or any other stuff-helping sites. Some are popular, some are not. The competition here is huge and you are risking of becoming unwanted with every new website release.
How to avoid such a happening? Usability! If your users are comfortable with your page they will stick with it. And there is lots more to it that the things which are being covered after the first glimpse. Testing usability is hard as it is, and finding appropriate and relatively cheap tools is dramatically important. Especially if you have a really limited budget. And every tool may focus on a particular task thus you have to be sure you are using the right one. What are the tasks with Usability Testing?
User Task Analysis
You should really consider beginning with User task Analysis. What will you be testing here? The ability of users accomplishing tasks and achieving their goals on your site. They are to be able of doing so in the most efficient way possible. Analyze each task like the registration form, the comment section, the ability of reading your posts, etc. What will help you with that?
- Intuition HQ. This tool will grant you the ability of seeing things from the user perspective. How long does it take for them to finish a task, what are they paying most attention, etc.
- Usabilla. This is your assistant with micro-usability tests. It may help measure the task performance. You will be getting early feedback with this baby.
- FiveSecondTest. Affordance, intuitiveness, learnability of buttons and links will be tested within the shortest time and with nice results.
How’s your content doing? Is it readable, understandable, with common words and phrases? Are the fronts appropriately sized? What about the contrast between the background and the actual text? Will users actually enjoy reading what you are about to write about? There are tools to answer these questions as well:
- Juicy Studio and their readability test. You will be entering your sites URL and gaining readability scores received from some popular algorithms. And it’s free.
- Check My Colours. This app will test the contrast of the foreground you have there against the sites background. Paste in your URL and there you have a tested website.
Make sure your users are able to move here and there with maximum ease. There are these little guys to help you with testing:
- net will help you with conducting card sorting.
- Treejack is there for tree testing assistance.
- WriteMaps will help with generating and managing site maps. You will also be able of sharing them.
Are you sure your site is accessible by every single person who wishes to? Your design has to be as universal as it gets. The assistants here would be…
- Vischeck as it will be simulating how your pictures and layout will look to somebody that is color-blind.
- WebAnywhere will be giving you some HTML related insight of issues that may be a problem to people requiring assistive software.
- Browsershots will allow you to see how your webpage’s doing in different browsers.
If your page is loading slowly you are losing users by the second. How to avoid that from happening? Easy, as we have: