Analysing and testing websites

Ergonomic and functional analysis

Besides accessibility testing, even simultaneously with it, we can also perform the ergonomic and functional analysis of user surfaces and websites. This analysis involves reviewing the complete website, and testing each and every function of the website in details. During testing not only ergonomic and usability failures, but in most cases programming and security errors could also be revealed. As well as in the case of the accessibility analysis, the ergonomic and functional analysis can also be carried out on all devices having sporting a user interface or communicating with users. (e.g.: computer programmes, touch screen terminal surfaces, mobile phones ...).

Simple usabililty failures include, e.g. the option to return to the main page is missing, or the lack of showing the actual position on the website, or having too many menu items or a too complicated menu structure. Not easy orientation, complicated handling, inconsistent naming, and even definion and spelling mistakes belong to these failures. As this analysis could reveal securtiy problems as well, and in some cases it might cause extra load on the servers, or uploading false / wrong data int he database, we always complete such analysis with the consent of the website owner, if possible using a test server. The result of this analysis, a written report could be more hundred pages depending on the size of the website.

In the frame of the ergonomic and functional analysis we can also carry out the usability testing, in which we gather information from the users of the website target group regarding their experience in using the given website or portal. Depending on how complex the website is, this study could take several months.

Usability testing

During the usability testing we ask users to use a given service. In most cases they are given some tasks defined in advance (the goal to be reached), and they complete them. While the users are working, we observe their behaviour and we record their reactions, wrong actions, dead-ends, misunderstandings, repetitions, and the tasks that need a lot of thinking, or frustrating, or are difficult to carry out, by cameras and/or taking notes.

Experience from the different users are summarized, and according to how serious the mistake is and how often it occurs, we put them in categories. In the course of such analysis not only obvious errors and faults, but some discrepancies and problems to be solved are also revealed, so we make suggestions on how to eliminate them. It is worth having a usability testing done as part of an ergonomic and functional analysis, so that not only usability failures could be detected, but a more systematic review and testing of the system could also be completed.

Focus group analysis

An idea, service plan / prototype or mockup is examined together with a given focus group, the representatives of the target group. With their help we assess the advantages and disadvantages, and we even improve it. Through this analysis users’ opinion, impressions and their comments about not-yet ready websites and services can be gathered.

This analysis differs from a usability testing as it does not necessarily focus on an already existing website. The plan (or prototype) is viewed simultaneously, and not separately, by users, so they can give their opinion and make suggestions all at once.