Information Literacy Online Centre

Evaluating Website Usability

Criteria to evaluate Website Usability:

  1. Cross platform usability. Web pages should appear the same when viewed with different servers such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.
  2. Relative proportions. Web pages should have relative values (percentages) for the page width, images and fonts. Users can then set their own preferences for viewing pages.
  3. Simple design. The use of flash, brilliant colors and graphics can overwhelm users and increase download time.
  4. Writing style. The content should appear in short paragraphs and point form for easy scanning. Adding too much content on a page leads to excessive scrolling.
  5. Working links. The links should be active and should change colour so that users know which sites they have visited. Links should also have tags to provide users with more information about sites.

Web sites can be tested for usability with programs such as Watchfire's Bobby.

Resources that discuss Website usability include:

Web Standards

Web sites that conform to standards such as those developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) will be easier to maintain as more people adopt these standards in their design.