Today we will explore on points to test and judge the performance of a website. We will use Accessibility, Usability and web browser compatibility and many more to judge a website.
The way to test this website is to define some tasks that user can perform when he is on your website and see how easily user can perform those task by designing use cases. Revisit them and see if you can make it even more simpler for your users. Being on the development side you may always think it is simple but always put yourself on the side of your users and see if it is actually as simple as it looks to you. The simple example could be of user registration system.
Is user able to register at your site easily?
Consider the example of reCaptcha which when enabled on MBA Forum lead to many issues with user registration. MBA Students are not very technical and so had issues with the registration with reCaptcha enabled. As a developer we can never understand reCaptcha is something that is complicated but then it was actually true for MBA Students.
The next use case can be how easy it is for the user to understand the flow of your website like what he should be doing just after he has submitted the registration form and whether he should activate his account by clicking the link in the email or is it the case that sent an email with a password in it to his email. The important think is that to let your user know about it and not to take it for granted that user will understand it.
It is very important to test your website’s accessibility of your website. When it comes to website you can have wide range of users and it is important to know the type of users visiting your website.
If you have a user base where people do not use high speed internet connectivity then you should always keep your site to fast loads and concentrate lesser on images and flash?
If you have non-computer based users like mobile users you should concentrate more on how easily user can navigate your site. You can also test your website without using a mouse. Some people like me prefer using keyboard to the extent possible.
Refer to W3C accessibility guidelines.
I just remember one thing which I always follow and that is to have search in the most prominent position possible. This has really helped me a lot.
People always think that scalability means increasing your hosting bandwidth to support your traffic but that is not what I am talking about but what I mean by scalable is performance of your site under the peak load. When your website is new it does not take much of load but when your site’s traffic grows you need to see how fast your website responds.
Say you have hundreds of concurrent users in the peak time and you should make sure your site responds faster in such situation.
Understanding your Audience
Any website design is incomplete without users feedback and next 2 ways to judge your website is feedback from your users.
4. Browser Compatibility
You should always test your website in all possible browser and even if you do not support some browser it is better to mention that somewhere. Something like “This website is best viewed in … browsers”.
No matter how I hate IE can I afford not to support Internet Explorer for my websites?
5. Screen Resolution
You should also be aware of the kind of users who are visiting your website. If you have users who uses more Wide Screen monitor it would be a good idea to have the design of the website as fluid and not fixed width.
Further Reading …