Applets, Plug-ins & PDF files

If your Web site uses applets, plug-ins, or PDF files, you should provide equivalent text that is accessible to a ‘screen reader.’ A screen reader is a device that allows people with specific disabilities (blindness, for example) to be able to hear Web pages spoken out to them rather than being displayed on the screen. […]

Web Accessibility Design Guidelines

It’s a sad fact that a lot of information on the Web is not directly accessible by people with disabilities. Why? Because most Web site managers and developers are ignorant of the needs of those people with disabilities who cannot use the Web in the standard way. Here are some examples of common accessibility design […]

Web Accessibility Facts

Consider these accessibility facts: The 1996 Chartbook on Disability in the United States estimates that “19.4% of non-institutionalized civilians in the United States, totalling 48.9 million people, have a disability. Almost half of these people (an estimated 24.1 million people) can be considered to have a severe disability.” Source: LaPlante, 1995 “Approximately eight percent of […]

Usability Heuristic Evaluation

A ‘heuristic’ is a general guideline or conclusion that aids in an investigaton or analysis of something. A heuristic evaluation in usability, therefore, is when a group of usability experts evaluate your site’s usability against a list of accepted guidelines and commonly accepted principles. If you don’t have the resources to hire usability experts, you […]

Common Usability Problems

The majority of Web sites have usability problems, which can result in confusing users, and ultimately, loss of revenue. The next few sections highlight some of the problems that users can encounter on a site with usability problems, which ultimately lead to confusion and lost revenue: User Has Difficulty in Finding What They Are Looking […]

Web Site Usability Testing on a Budget

One of the biggest myths about usability testing is that it costs thousands of dollars a day to run the most basic of tests. Sure, many high-profile engineers will charge you over $10,000 a day, but if you want to conduct a test yourself, you could easily do it for around $250. All you need […]

Define Your Web Site Objectives

To build a great Web site, you must define its objectives. Only then can you define and prioritize the usability aspects of your site to meet your intended users’ needs. Let’s take a few this site’s objectives and usability solutions as an example: Site Objective: 95% of Web pages must theoretically download in two seconds […]

Usability Toolkit

Aside from the classic usability tests, you can call upon quite a number of usability tools to test your site’s usability. Of course, you don’t have to use every single one. Here are 24 usability tools. Affinity Diagrams Affinity diagramming is a categorization method where users sort various concepts into categories. This method is used […]

Know Your Users

To build a great Web site, you must understand the needs of your users. You could use market research and focus groups or even conduct surveys to understand your users better. This fact-finding step should be completed before any site development or coding is done. To get a better understanding of your site users, you […]