Transform Your UX: The Ultimate Website Usability Checklist


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Monday, June 20, 2022

Website usability mustn’t get lost in the design process and should be kept front and center, along with business goals.

Article 4 Minutes
Transform Your UX: The Ultimate Website Usability Checklist

A business’ online presence needs to perform a number of functions, from increasing awareness to nurturing relationships with potential customers. That makes having a user-friendly website an essential component of any successful online strategy, and user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) designers are key to making it happen.

Creating a checklist before you set out will ensure you stay on track and keep website usability at the forefront of every decision you make.

Website usability checklist

Every designer has their own ideas, but reference this usability checklist when creating your own set of parameters to make sure nothing is lost. While all projects are different and business goals must be taken into consideration, the common denominator is that users must not get lost as the website develops.

1. Create a responsive layout

With media consumption on mobile having grown exponentially in recent years, no organization can afford to have a website that frustrates smart device users. A fully responsive website will make information instantly available to everyone who views your site, no matter where they’re accessing it from, and should encourage them to spend longer on it.

2. Ensure quick load time

The argument that most people have broadband and therefore can wait for websites to load doesn’t quite fly. As Wi-Fi speeds get faster, your users’ patience diminishes, meaning your pages really need to come in at under 100KB or you can expect your audience to leave and look elsewhere.

3. Optimize readability

As a designer, it’s likely you live for the aesthetics, but it’s vital you don’t prioritize style over readability. Take everything from the text-to-background contrast to font size and even spacing into account when designing your site. Test as you go to prevent having to make sweeping changes down the line on this front.

4. Implement a clear identity strategy

Branding isn’t just nice to have, as making your website instantly recognizable as part of your company’s offering increases trust and transparency. Place your logo in the top left corner of every page to demonstrate to the user that they’re still on your site and then implement an identity strategy that stems from your logo and is consistent across all parts of your website.

5. Conduct a usability survey

While a website usability checklist is a good way to generally keep on track, nothing compares to actually asking your target audience their opinions. Put together a set of usability survey questions to find out if the decisions you’ve made will have the intended outcome. Among the questions to include are:

  • Could you access all the features on your device?
  • Did you find the images relevant?
  • How many clicks did it take to find what you were looking for?
  • Did the website load in an appropriate time frame?
  • What would you change on the website?
  • On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate the usability of the site?

It’s important that you don’t lead your survey participants in any direction. With this in mind, stay away from the following types of leading question:

  • Is this feature irrelevant?
  • Did this element load slowly?
  • Do you think the newer version of the website is better than the old one?
  • Did you save a lot of time using the website?

6. Perform a usability test

Usability testing enables you to observe an outside party complete a predefined task on your website to see how successfully it’s achieved. When run effectively, they result in actionable insights that can be used to improve the UX of your completed site. Human-centered design should always undergo testing and ensure problem solving is at the heart of your site.

Purposes for running a usability test include:

  • Validating your prototype
  • Discovering issues within complex flows
  • Accessing unbiased opinions from real people
  • Gathering information that will enhance the UX

7. Implement your findings

To really transform your UX, you must be prepared to implement the findings of your usability surveys and tests. Sometimes, this can be a difficult process as elements you’ve held onto from the beginning need to go. Ignoring the results and opinions of real-life users won’t help you in the long run and will simply stunt the potential to convert leads.

User testing is an investment and the more you do, the better your product will become. The end result should be a streamlined website that allows users to have their questions answered or problems solved in an efficient and satisfactory manner, giving them an overall good experience of your business.

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