Use an outsider to test your site’s usability

Josh Eaton of Rotary Swing Golf rightly called me to task for an omission from my post about the different skills needed to create a successful website.

“One thing missing, though, is usability testing,” Josh wrote.  (I had written on the subject in a newsletter earlier this year.)  “No one in your list of recommendations should handle that since they’re all too close to the site.  Only representative users.  Even if it has great content, can be found easily, has clean code that is easy to update, and looks great, usability problems can ruin the whole thing.

“I think you put me on to the book Don’t Make Me Think, by Steven Krug, and now I completely buy in to this stuff and see how challenging our site is for users.  (And they happened to tell us this in a member survey as well — even though we didn’t ask!)

“Personally, I’d wrap usability testing around all 5 of those recommendations and have some done to test how every bit of the site is implemented.   Just my two cents…and thanks for telling me about the book.  It is worth its weight in gold!”

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