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Testing for Usability | Something Is Better Than Nothing

Discussion in 'Newbie Helpdesk' started by espmartin, Dec 8, 2007.

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  1. espmartin

    espmartin New Member Webmaster

    Hello All,

    Do you all test your sites for usability? When I create a site, I structure it as
    1. Create (X)HTML markup (separating top/content/navigation/footer areas with divs)
    2. Create content for page
    3. Use PHP for inclusion of common navigation areas (breadcrumb, sidebar, etc)
    4. Use PHP for inclusion of header
    5. Use PHP for inclusion of footer
    Once it validates - then (and only then) do I create the external CSS file
    for it. Let me say that besides SEO'ing the markup (source order, meta,
    keyword densities, etc.), accessibility is integrated every step of the way.

    Once the site passes the standard WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) checklists
    (A, AA, AAA) - I begin my usability testing. So this my simple test of
    usability. You can get very detailed in your testing, but for the sake of the
    title of this post, let me ask you to run this test on your sites. And also, do
    you run any type of usability test for your designs?

    Here's what I do, and let me know what you do:

    1. Load my page, and squint my eyes (Yes, I'm serious). Can I still read the content, and differentiate between background/foreground colors?
    2. Next I move my mouse out of reach (like behind my desk). Now, just using my keyboard, can I navigate my entire site?
    Of course, this is an extremely simple test...but what do you all do for your
    usability testing?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2009
  2. SkinnerW

    SkinnerW New Member Webmaster

    color combinations, font-family, and font size extremely important and I always pay great attention to it...

    Just a little tip - you should ALWAYS define font-family and font-size for your pages and that includes <h> tags, otherwise browser will use default user settings and You have no idea how people will see your site in different browsers...

    With keyboard - you got me here... The only time I use it - to type something in. Without mouse I will be lost even on perfectly accessible/usable site...
  3. espmartin

    espmartin New Member Webmaster

    Excellent tips!
    And this is perfectly fine. It's just that many designers design for themselves
    (as with the example you give of how you use your browser) - without
    thinking of disabled users. Just as many designers who have a 24",
    wide-screen monitor will design their layouts based on how it looks on their
    screens, and not the typical 1024x768, 18" monitor user.

    I have a 21" monitor, but I use web development extensions that test screen
    resolutions and such for my designs before I roll them out.
  4. WebXpertZ

    WebXpertZ New Member Webmaster

    Excellent tips by skinner..thanx for info
  5. George1985

    George1985 New Member Webmaster

    Great tips guys, what i do is ask my friends to test out the website and make sure all the links are working as well. I think its better to get other people to test out your website and then get feedback on them.
  6. hendrahy

    hendrahy New Member Webmaster

    thanks for information

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