Site usability testing
The primary factor considered by usability is how easily a new visitor gets adapted to the navigation through site. It is determined by the amount of time he spends on simple operations in the system. Then comes the effectiveness, which depends on how quickly the novice learns to work with simple tasks. After that you should determine how well he remembers the general scheme of work on the web-portal, and if he can act more quickly when visiting the site for the second time.
Statistics show that one of the major consequences of neglecting the rules of usability is the fact that more than half of the users cannot quickly find on the Internet the information they need. Therefore, the search takes a long time, and the work itself turns out to be unproductive. This suggests a natural conclusion that any new web-resource needs testing for ease of use.
Testing is the basis of the development of usability. For this purpose several respondents get involved who, independently of each other, decide standard set of tasks in the prototype system. In this case, the specialist notes all their comments and actions. After analyzing the data the necessary adjustments are applied into the system after which it can be tested again.
To start the testing of a new website it is enough to create a prototype of its interface without graphics and with a minimal amount of content. That’s enough to get the raw data based on user comments. The analysis of the results will help determine how easy and simple this version of the site is for users. The prototype can be done on paper, as well as in HTML or, for example, using MSVisio.
To conclude it should be noted that in general users work like search engines – that is, the most important information for them is contained in blocks from left to right and from top to bottom. Therefore, the main material should be placed there. You also need to throw out any auxiliary words, leaving only the specific information. Using lists and tables could be even more useful.