Short Website Usability Analysis Guide

I’ve been putting off talking about website usability analysis, because this is a topic that’s a little more technical than I really like to write about.

Very technical topics aren’t what you come here to read so I will make this website usability analysis an easy read.

So, let’s get down to it then, shall we? Please fasten your safety belts and put your trays in their full upright position!

#1 Platforms

First, you need to make sure that your website works properly on a number of platforms. How do you do this?  Just test and compare the functionality, interactivity and viewability, of your website, on the most common PC platforms.

You need to also test mobile. Mobile phones are usually on par with low end 1.32GHz single core PCs.

Don’t forget set top boxes, which need to work with the lowest end mobile phones (at about 723GHz, with about 512Mb of RAM and a resolution of 420p).

There is only one platform that is difficult to test on: game consoles. The Xbox 360 (which is a bad gaming console but a moderate computer) is comparable to standard set top boxes.

#2 Browsers

With Mobile and PC, you must test various browsers.

I use Google Chrome as the standard. Chrome renders AJAX, HTML5 and DHTML constructs by the W3C compliance standards (where some browsers like Netscape and Opera do not). Making sure all browsers render your website identical to Chrome is a good way to ensure that everything on your site functions properly.

#3 Bandwidth and TCP/IP Responses

Ok, this is the doozie. TCP/IP is the protocol that internet devices use to exchange information and locate one another “physically.” This is a server side issue – meaning the server hosts and delivers the web content to the computer.

You need to be sure that the response times from the location of your main demographic has a ping time of less than 231 milliseconds, otherwise, many devices and ISPs will time them out, meaning they cannot view you.

Going along with this, your web design needs to comply with a multitude of bandwidth types, such as low end DSL, 3G/4G wireless internet, 803.11Ghz WiFi, and cable connections. Designing the site to use caching (and not reloading frequently) is a good way to handle speed. The load time, on the lowest connection, should take under ten seconds to load, or the browser can stall (especially on mobile devices).  You may get caught in an infinite loop.

These are the main points to consider when reviewing  website usability analysis. I did my best to not be overly technical, hope I could help you out!

Rachel Quinn