Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Essential Website Usability Checklist

A quick and dirty checklist ...

"Give me almost any website and I will point out at least one common usability mistake. Chances are your website is included in that group. You could be missing out on sales, loyal visitors and links due to a usability oversight that’s easily fixable.

This post is a simple 13-point usability checklist for webmasters. Ever good website must be able to answer ‘yes’ to each of these points. How does your site measure up? Feel free to score yourself out of thirteen and share the results in the comments section.

1. Your essential navigational elements are easy to find

The navigational links you want readers to use most often should always be close to the top of the screen. Stuffing important navigational elements in the footer area is a worrying trend I see becoming more and more prevalent. Remember: it’s not true minimalism or simplicity if you’re taking away or hiding what’s important. Essential navigational elements should never be treated like clutter.

2. Your hyperlinks are easy to pick out

Not everyone visiting your site has 20/20 vision, not everyone can distinguish between colors and not everyone has their screen set to a bright resolution. It’s essential that your links stand out for all users. The simplest and most effective way you can ensure this is to double-format your links by changing both the color and the style of the hyperlinked text.

3. Your color choices are easy to read

Black text on a white background is hands-down the easiest color combination to read. Grey text on white might look slick and modern, but that won’t count for much if no-one is reading your content. If you have to experiment, try black text on a light color. Light text on a light background is a no-no, as is dark text on a dark background."    (Continued via DailyBits)    [Usability Resources]

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