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Website usability test reports are carried out on existing websites. It is worth noting, however, that following a tried and trusted user centred web design methodology during the initial website design and development should save money later. This will provide the website with solid foundations and will mean that it will be underpinned by standard web design and development principles. This is not to say that a website that is designed to be usable will be usable. Web usability is iterative in nature. Test. Design. Test again. This is the cycle that is followed in the realms of user friendly design processes.
Who or what is a business website designed for? The business? Well, the business pays for the website but the end users are the one’s who are there to complete tasks on the website. So we must keep them happy. The business decision maker must not let personal preferences cloud judgement whilst making decisions about how the website should look and feels. The entrepreneur obviously has a vision of how the business web presence should slot into the marketplace. But the end user’s needs should be paramount in this instance.
A website usability test report contains information or feedback that should be passed to a web design and development team to make the necessary alterations. This information is gathered by observing end users. How is this accomplished? Well, on a budget an expert practitioner could simulate him or herself as an end user. After all, he or she has the necessary experience. The disadvantage with this method of testing is that their judgement can become clouded especially if they have spent a significant amount of time on the project and have some emotional attachment to the design. In this instance, it may be worth recruiting usability testing participants who have no relationship to the project and can give an honest and impartial account of the usability of the website.