Entries tagged "usability testing"
Before posting links online or in printed materials, do you clean them up? They may contain things that can be removed while still having functional links. They will be shorter. Plus, removing some parts may help future-proof the URL. Now I'm not talking about removing the "http://" and "www" portion. There are other things to consider. Continue reading →
Does your organization distribute materials created by those who are less familiar with how URLs work? If so, you may want to be more involved with the review process for this content. That way the organizational newsletter, for example, isn't sent out with broken links. Here are the more common issues I've run into over the years. Continue reading →
When responding to support requests involving a website it's important to remember that the customer may not be using the same browser as you. They may not even use the same operating system (Windows, Macintosh, etc.) There are many issues that I've seen over the years as a website developer which work perfectly fine in one browser and completely fall apart in another. So make sure that you have covered your bases before responding to the customer. Continue reading →
I recently listened to episode 10 of The Big Web Show titled "Less Is Always an Option". In the episode Jeffrey Zeldman and Dan Benjamin interviewed Jason Fried, CEO and co-founder of 37signals.
One thing that Jason discussed was his experience with getting feedback on web projects. He said "Until someone is really using something for real on something that needs to get done right now, they don't really put it through it's true paces. The thing that I think is missing with a lot of user testing is reality."
As I spend more time developing for the Web, I tend to agree with Jason's viewpoint. There is value in testing a website, web-based application, etc. during the development stage. For example, they may notice typos or that you don't provide a way for visitors to contact you with website questions. But the feedback quality tends to improve once the website or application is out there and being used. At this point visitors are using the product with their personal goals in mind.
If given the option, I prefer to be responsible for using the more intricate applications in the early stages. For example, I developed a tool for managing a membership database. Since I'm in charge of processing new membership requests and keeping the database updated, I've been able to experience first-hand what works well in the program and what needs to be streamlined. I can then make any necessary teaks before turning the keys over to someone else.
How do you obtain feedback on a website or web-based application? I would also be interested in hearing your feedback stories. For example, did you launch a product only to find out that a crucial piece of information was missing?