Wednesday, 01 May 2013 13:21

Usability checklist for a modern website Featured

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An outlay of the most important factors to look at in relation to the usability of your website. This will be a work in progress as there are many more points to look at.

Reasonable load time. Even with most of us on fairly fast broadband the hosting and the coding should be optimised for a decent load time.

Legible text, a good size and clearly readable on the background. Many people with many different abilities and levels of eye-site will hopefully wish to read what you have to say. So make sure they can. And NO! red on black is never a good idea, neither is nearly any shade of yellow. Font Size/Spacing falls under this too.

Flash & add-ons are used sparingly. These are nearly always unnecessary. I always try to discourage flash as it is still heavy and relies on the viewer to be up-to-date with his flash player. Many pads like the ipad and some Samsung pads do not allow flash. Flash is also riddled with security holes. There are better ways nowadays to achieve similar results to flash.

Make sure all images on the site are named to describe the photo. Also make sure the alt tag are all name appropriately. This helps towards your on-site seo and aids visitors to your site.

Not-found/404 page customised to give your visitor a page with search or alternative option rather than just a blank 404 page.

Company logo is prominently placed or better yet placed where you would expect to find it. Tag-lines are included to make sure the company purpose or mission statement is clearly visible.

Your home-page tells the viewer what you are about in 5 seconds or less. This is not a case of gone in 60 seconds, but more like visitor gone in 5 seconds.

Company information and contact information easily accessible. Make it easy for your viewer to contact you and add call to actions to your pages to entice contact.

If you sell something or have something that you wish to sell or share, make it available on your website. For example, if you sell a product make the ability to purchase available on the website. This goes for booking of rooms on your accommodation website or selling your shiny new book of poetry. The power of the internet is where you can make all the options available to your customer in one place.

Have clear links to your blogs and social media. Ideally you pull your main or latest articles written to your frontpage.

Your company logo links back to your home page or main page you want a visitor to reach first.

Easily identifiable links if there are any within your text.

Site Search Is Easy to Access but more importantly works well.

Headings are descriptive for viewer and search engines. Headings are one of the most important pieces of onsite seo at the moment so it is important to make them work for you and the viewer.

19. Main important content is inside the viewing area of the browser without having to scroll. We suggest having clear images and graphics with short or bullet pointed content at the top and having your backup and further reading below.

Styles & Colours Are Consistent throughout the website and pages. If you have very different sections to your site clever colour coding can help towards aiding your viewer navigating the site.

Ads & Pop-ups Are Unobtrusive, better yet non-existent!

Main website copy is clearly written for people and not for search engines. In many cases it is worthwhile having a professional write your content. Money WELL SPENT!

URLs Are understandable by humans Search Engine Friendly and User-friendly

HTML Page Titles Are optimised for visitors and not just for SEO.

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Helmut Watterott

Designer and web strategist We also run web hosting Scotland for all your web hosting and domain name needs.



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