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Web Site Usability Checklist 1.0

by Bill Lauritzen

Site Structure:
· Does everything in the site contribute to the purpose of the site?
· Is the overall site structure confusing, vague, or seemingly endless?
· Is the overall site structure capable of being grasped? Does it have definite boundaries or does it seem endless? Does the user have some feedback about where he is in the site?
· Is the site too cluttered (information overload) or too barren (information underload)?
· Is the most important content displayed in a more PROMINENT manner?
· Are the more frequently used functions more PROMINENT on the site?
· Does the site use technologies that lend themselves to the web (such as graphics, sound, motion, video, or other new technology)?
· Does the site use advanced technologies only in manner that enhances the purpose of the site? (Does the site have too many useless bells and whistles?)
· Is the site so aesthetic (or comedic, etc) that it distracts from the overall site purpose?
· Is it clear to the novice how to move within the site?
· Is the site so narrow and deep that the user has to keep clicking through to find something, and gets lost?
· Is the site so broad and shallow that the user has to keep scrolling to find something?

Content:
· From the viewpoint of the user, is the site full of trivial content or vital content?
· Is the overall purpose of the site muddy or clear? (Usual purposes: 1) to exchange money for a product or service or 2) educate about someone or something.)
· Does the site use words, abbreviations, or terms that would be unfamiliar to a novice user?
· Does part of the site establish the creditability, trustworthiness, or honesty of the owners when necessary?
· Does the site allow for suggestions and feedback from the users?
· Does the site allow for the users to communicate with each other via chat rooms or internal newsgroups thus creating a sense of community?

Readability:
· Is the text easy to read?
· Does the font style contribute to the purpose of the site without losing readability?
· Is there sufficient contrast between the text and the background?
· Is there too much contrast between the text and the background?
· Are the characters too small? Too large? Does the novice know how to change their size for easier reading?
· Do the colors enhance the user's experience while not sacrificing text legibility?

Graphics:
· Do the graphics contribute to the overall purpose of the site or distract from it?
· Do the images load quickly or does the user have to wait impatiently?

Speed:
· Is it hard to locate a target item, causing the user to lose patience and leave?
· For a large-content site, is there an internal search engine?
· Does the user have to go through too many steps to accomplish a task? (buying, joining, registering)?
· Does an expert user have options that allow them higher speed?
· Does the site designed using generally accepted human factors principles? (feedback, transfer of training, natural mapping, movement compatibility, cultural compatibility, logical compatibility, etc.)