The Ten-Second Usability Test #usability
via UsabilityNews: News (full) by Joanna Bawa on 2/19/10
A basic usability test can be done in 10 seconds. • Type in your site address. How long does it take to load? It’s a good idea to measure this on a stopwatch. Measuring with such precision may seem strange, but it’s necessary. If your pages take more than two or three seconds to load, your site’s users are likely to be put off, returning to the search engine results pages before they ever see your site. Page load needs to be measured from the point of clicking on the link to the point at which the page is fully viewable. This means images and video content as well. Sitting waiting for elements of a page to load can be more frustrating than waiting for the initial load. • The next four seconds are spent analysing the information that’s immediately available on the page. Second 1: the user takes in the design elements to make a decision about the worth of your site. This happens swiftly and mostly subconsciously. Second 2: The next thing noticed is your content. If your page design is too busy, the user has to spend too much time trying to find the content, and it takes more than one second for them to assess it. This will affect their opinion of your site. Is your site usable? Testing the usability of a site is one of the first things to be done during the search engine optimisation process. Keeping tabs on usability is one of the ways to assess how much work your site is going to need to pull it up in the rankings. Every search engine optimisation company will have their own usability checklists, and you can talk to us at SEO Consult about SEO analyses. It’s a good idea for every site owner to have their own, to be used as part of their ongoing SEO maintenance.