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Anyone do web site usability as a job?

Old 07-12-06, 09:01 AM
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Anyone do web site usability as a job?

Just curious if anyone does web site usability as a career.... and testing the usability of dvdtalk.com or pr0n sites does not count
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Old 07-12-06, 01:48 PM
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It's part of what I do. I'm not certified in it or anything, but I do it.
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Old 07-12-06, 01:54 PM
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do you have a specific question about it in mind?
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Old 07-12-06, 02:05 PM
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I did it in an unofficial capacity...but now I poke and prod people's inner thoughts, then tell them they have issues with their mom/dad.

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Old 07-12-06, 02:19 PM
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well currently i do level 2 tech support and i have done user testing before, but i may have a opportunity to do web site usability in the future part time and/or full time. Do I just basically go through the current web site and make a list of stuff (colors, navigation, text, etc) that I don;'t like and just give it to a designer to fix? Is there a 'professional' way to make a web site more usable or is it just altering one to make it an easier user experience?

What do you do after the 1st week or so after you find all the flaws with a web site?

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Old 07-12-06, 02:23 PM
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You might expand into other QA areas:
-Load testing (access speed, etc)
-Compatibility testing (browsers, cross-platform, plugins, etc)

I could go on and on, but instead of reinventing the wheel, you could always check out: www.qaforums.com. They are incredibly knowledgable, though admittedly pretty hardcore. You don't need to get into all of the software customization they do, but it is nice to see the range of services you could grow into.

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Old 07-12-06, 02:26 PM
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I think every web developer does usability tests when designing a site. I know I do. You'd have to otherwise users wouldn't come to your sites.

I guess one could make a career of telling people what's wrong with their site though. Do you have a good background on site design and what makes a site navigable?
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Old 07-12-06, 02:42 PM
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well i only had a go at it in a limited capacity.

some things off the top of my head:
-obviously a design that doesn't offend you (contrast, color, etc)
-have a search box on each page, bonus points for one that actually returns relevant results
-consistency (design theme and navigation)
-can visitor bookmark every single page? (unless u don't want them to)
-can you see everything at 800x600 without scrolling
-crossbrowser compatability
-visitor should be able to find a contact us page easily
-good to have a sitemap
-does it handle error gracefully? (ie visitor tampering with query strings)
-might want a text version if it uses flash heavily
-slow loading sites pisses people off. no longer than 8 secs to load MAX
-visitors shouldn't have to scroll forever to get to the bottom. in other words, pages shouldn't be 20 pages long. split it up.
-can it handle traffic? 10,000-20,000 hitting the database is going to hurt.

i personally didn't like that part of the job, though had a coworker whose job was (is? i think he's still there) solely to break a website. he was getting big $$ from microsoft, but poor guy. i can't answer the second question because my job wasn't solely testing usability. that's all i got for now. if i think of anymore, i'll post.
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Old 07-12-06, 02:51 PM
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Don't forget ADA compliance if applicable.
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Old 07-12-06, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by j123vt_99
well currently i do level 2 tech support and i have done user testing before, but i may have a opportunity to do web site usability in the future part time and/or full time. Do I just basically go through the current web site and make a list of stuff (colors, navigation, text, etc) that I don;'t like and just give it to a designer to fix? Is there a 'professional' way to make a web site more usable or is it just altering one to make it an easier user experience?

What do you do after the 1st week or so after you find all the flaws with a web site?
Typically, usability experts do a hell of a lot more than that. It goes beyond their opinions; they usually set up and facilitate tests with actual users, compile the results, and make recommendations. Look up human factors engineering.
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