Web Usability & Website Optimization

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Web Accessibility, Search Engines and You

Search engines love accessible web sites. The basic thing required to make a website search engine friendly is making it accessible to any type of user, and one good way to examine how accessible a website is, can be learnt using Text Browsers like Linx.

Google also mention the same guidelines through its Google Information for Webmasters without actually using the word "Accessibility" anywhere on the page, but everything comes
under the Accessibility guidelines of Section 508.
Even other major search engines like Yahoo and MSN do love Accessible websites.

Complete information about Section 508 can be found at US General Services Administration (GSA)'s fully devoted website www.section508.gov.
The one line philosophy behind this act is "Electronic and Information Technology should be accessible to people with disabilities"

There are couple of good tools to check the Accessibility of a website, you can find them at following URL's:

If you are Usability professional or someway related to Usability field or just have the good feelings to make web a better place then let's together make/help to build Accessible websites.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Website Design choices can affect conversion rate

I just finished reading an awesome article on AListApart.com - Design Choices Can Cripple a Website. Author Nick Usborne has illustrated the fact that just the choices of website design can really affect the rate of conversion despite of having good marketing content, sales pitch and other text on the website. Nick has provided some real good survey statistics to prove his point with three design examples for same webpage, keeping the text and content same.

Apart from good stuff and statistics, he has a small but very interesting test for Usability Professionals and Web Designers.

This article is a must reading for all User Interface designers and Internet Marketing professionals and good for everyone who has some kind of relation with E-commerce websites.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Usability Testing - Heuristic Evaluation of Website

Web Usability is gaining high importance in Internet world and majorly Information Technology(IT) sector is looking into Usability with deep interest, putting more money and resources to develop and produce highly usable web sites and products simply for one reason: USABLE WEBSITE SELLS.

Heuristic Evaluation or Heuristic Study of a website is the first part of Usability Testing where a number of Usability professionals evaluate a website on Usability points and then together find a solution to remake/redesign the User Interface to make it more user friendly.

By Dictionary "Heuristic" means Computer Science - Relating to or using a problem-solving technique in which the most appropriate solution of several found by alternative methods is selected at successive stages of a program for use in the next step of the program.

This Heuristic analysis or Heuristic evaluation is basically based on Ten Usability Heuristics by Jacob Nielsen. Visit this page to read these Ten Usability Heuristics.

Heuristic Testing is inexpensive method as compared to complete Usability Testing which involves setting up a User Behaviour study lab and other factors. Small companies that can not afford the Usability Testing services must go for Heuristic evaluation part and rework on the websites accordingly.