One way to conduct a usability test is to have some of the intended audience test it out to see if the website meets their needs and the purpose(s) it was designed for. Usability tests can take different forms, and the form of the test is often determined by the nature of the work that has been developed. One method would be to develop a set of questions (probably in the 6-12 range) that you can then give to 3-6 people (or more if possible) to test out the website. Some of you have specific clients that will be part of your user test group, while others of you can ask classmates to help you out. As you develop questions, think about the purposes of the website and ask questions that will show you know whether or not the website achieves those purposes. Some areas you may want to cover include:

  • effectiveness of the site (can readers get what they need/is information presented clearly/is it clear how to get where you need to go to get info or to accomplish some task)
  • overall design (tone, color, layout)
  • programming bugs (non-working links, graphics that don't show up, slow to load)
  • errors (spelling, grammar)

These are just suggestions, so feel free to add other areas.

For an example, see http://falcon.tamucc.edu/~wiki/student/student.php/MichaelCarlisle/UsabilityTest. Notice what makes these good examples is that they are specific to the project and the needs of the specific audiences and purposes for the projects.

Here are examples of usability questions:

  • Stacy and Laurel's usability questions:

Questions

  • Wes and Sal's

Optimist Club Usability Test

More related links: