|Superslide at the EX - Canadian National Exhibition on Lakeshore last 2 weeks of August|
If you're a communicator tasked with developing a website, consider your customer's point of view with this basic usability checklist:
Access to the site is easy
- users can find the site and it loads quickly
Minimize the potential for errors through design
- use accurate and descriptive labels, link names and section titles.
Navigation is intuitive
- minimize the amount of information a user must type in for forms
- use intuitive content structure and labels, hierarchies and natural order (sequential, frequency of use, function)
- use simple, concise language and plain terminology
- match the content and its presentation to the people who will use the site.
The user has control over how they use the site
- put a 'home' link on every page
- provide a site map
- provide (in some cases, multiple) navigation elements on all content pages.
Consistency to aid navigation
- use alignment to reinforce site structure
- place recurring navigation, text and buttons on all pages in same place
- use the same sequence in lists and navigation throughout the site.
Support movement through the site
- identify the site on every page
- identify the page with 1st, 2nd and 3rd level headings
- link every page to at least one level up
- use recognizable metaphors for navigation.
Promote recognition rather than recall
- clearly identify the page using a consistent textual and graphic style
- provide good navigation using concise, meaningful, unique titles
- use descriptive labels and links.
Flexibility and efficiency
- make pages easy to bookmark, avoid pop ups and gimmicks
- allow users to move through the site how they wish
- use a clear sequence on navigation bar
- keep the navigation bar to a maximum of 9 items
- chunk and group information to create a deep site with multiple pages rather than a broad one
- use "pointers" to immediate parent pages and to the beginnings of sections, as well as to the main sections and help
Informative error handling
- offer informative error messages
- provide help to recover from the error
Aid the site user
- provide a search function
- provide a site map
- provide step-by-step information on downloads, forms, transactions and other interactions.