Back to Usability — how about a checklist?

download checklistOkay, enough sidetracking to Facebook, time to get back to usability.

There’s a very good 25 point web site usability checklist on usereffect.

Checklists won’t make your site usable–it’s best to usability test your site with the target audience and really sit back and watch what they have trouble with–but a checklist will help you avoid the most obvious mistakes so when you sit down to a usability test you’re not completely embarrassed that they can’t even tell what your web site is for.

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3 Responses to “Back to Usability — how about a checklist?”


  1. 1 Dr. Pete February 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out, and I’m glad you enjoyed the checklist. One of the great things about usability as it evolves is that we have so many tools at our disposal: best practices, analytics, in-person testing, on-site testing, eye-tracking, heat-maps, and on and on. It makes it more and more important, though, that we get our processes on paper and really develop the logic of how we operate as practicioners.

  2. 2 krauseann February 12, 2009 at 7:42 am

    I agree, it’s good to get our processes on paper, but there is a danger in checklists in that once someone has checked off everything on the list, they might mistakenly think they’re done. I think the checklist is a start, but you really don’t want to stop there. It only covers the most basic usability factors and does not ensure the site/application is usable.

  3. 3 Dr. Pete February 12, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I think that’s certainly a valid concern. Practically, though, the people who are most likely to abuse a list like this are probably the ones who normally wouldn’t do anything at all. Hopefully, improving their awareness of usability in general and opening their eyes a bit will help them see the broader merits of testing and more advanced work.

    I work with a lot of small clients, and it’s an uphill battle. Many don’t even have a basic grasp of their online business goals or analytics, let alone more advanced concepts. All we can do is try to educate them, IMO.


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