Test and Refine Site
Topics on This Page
- Review Your Organization’s Objectives and Usability Goals
- Assess User Needs
- Follow Best Practices and Web Guidelines
Does your site meet your organization’s objectives and usability goals? Are the goals and objectives still relevant?
If you need to set or update your organization’s objectives, get the conversation started with our list of questions to ask at kick-off meetings (PDF–33KB).
If you have not set usability goals, learn how to set measurable usability goals.
Consider how well the site fulfills user goals. Review or research the types of users who visit your site and the reasons they come.
Gathering information from users is essential to understanding:
- How well they can find information on your site
- How efficiently they can use the functionality on the site
- How well they understand your content
- How much they enjoy using your site
Review users' emails, phone calls, and posts
Identify issues your site’s users have by reviewing:
- Emails that come from site visitors
- Questions from users that call your organization
- Comments or questions left by users on your site
Evaluate your Web and search logs
Look at your Web logs to see how users are using the site.
- How many users go beyond the home page?
- Which pages of your site are the most popular?
- What items are users searching for on the site?
- What words are people using as they search?
Conduct an online survey
Use a survey to ask users how they use the website. For example, you may want to ask users "What information were you looking for today?" and "Did you find it?" These types of questions help you learn how well people can use your site.
Conduct a usability test
Test your site with representative users to see how well it meets their needs. During the usability test, you'll identify usability issues with your site and create a benchmark for future tests.
Review your site against common Web standards and best practices. Compare it to the standards and best practices of your company or agency as well.
Consider the following techniques to help you:
A heuristic evaluation helps identify usability problems with a site’s user interface design. In a typical heuristic evaluation one or more usability expert(s):
- Review your goals
- Review your users' scenarios
- Identify potential usability issues on your site
Research-Based Usability and Web Design Guidelines
The Research-Based Usability and Web Design Guidelines — based on research in usability, human factors, cognitive psychology, and other Web design sciences—offer practical advice for improving the usability of your website.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a set of policies for all federal public websites.