Website Usability Testing
In addition to using our standard usability guidelines, in-depth Website Usability Testing is a scientific method that results in websites that are easier to use, less frustrating, and more effective. We have developed two methods of usability testing:
For human testing, first, we discuss potential issues with our client and explore their website to determine which tasks should be tested. Clients usually know the areas that have caused trouble because they have received complaints.
Next, a sample of people are asked to complete these tasks on the website. We get our samples many ways depending on the nature of the website. For example, for a sewing website, we obtained a sample of women from 20-60 years old with various levels of sewing skill. For a website on a university campus, we sampled students. For a community bank, we sampled a variety of adults around the community.
The participants in our website usability testing are run one at a time, some in our facility and some in the place they normally access the Internet. We record time on tasks, errors, and signs of frustration. We do not allow our participants to become too frustrated. We note the areas of the website that lead to errors, slowness, and frustration. We typically include a short survey and a short interview to obtain explanations of what we have observed. Once data is collected, we focus our problem solving skills on the areas of the website with the usability problems.
Our other method of website usability testing is for an expert to analyze the website using a variety of equipment. nHarmony can test using a wide variety of computers running various common browsers. Our consultants can examine how a website will sound to a person with visual difficulties who browses using software that converts a website to speech. We can test whether individuals with color blindness or poor visual acuity can use the website appropriately. And of course we can verify that web pages will render accurately in browsers such as Internet Explorer that do not follow the standards of the W3.org.
PO Box 1938 Muncie IN 47305-1938 USA