Monday, 26 April 2010

The usability test

Okay, what to test when you want to test the usability? The ease of use? Okay, lets try.
Lets buy a book ("priemgetallen").
  1. Search for priemgetallen
    The first result is the right one
  2. Click on "In winkelwagentje"
  3. Click on "Bestellen"
    Login or create an account
  4. Create an account
  5. Fill in the form
    First error made, filled in name instead of given name
    Got a question about the present service allthough I use the same address
  6. Click on continu
    Have to give my e-mail address and a password
    Very bad, I have to un-tick that I want a newsletter
    Very bad, I have to type my e-mail address twice
  7. Click on check the given information
  8. Click on Pay (and stopped)
It is easy, but some things could be improved. Good is that the postal code and the house number was enough.
Lets buy an insurrance for my car
  1. Given the identification of the car and pressed "Bereken je premie"
  2. Given all information, it is clear where you are in the process, however I need to give my email address twice and I have to wait to long to go to the next step
  3. Process stopped at the moment I had to give the "meldcode" I was too lazy to search for it
Lets book a simple course

Selected a course form the homepage, Apple's OSX, selected the first course and then ... did not know what to do next. Process stopped.
Try to book a hotel.

I have to enter the dates first before I can do what I want, I have to search again for the wanted hotel. 
However after found the hotel I want for the price I want I only have to enter my name and e-mail address (twice!). Easy. Process stopped to prevent a reservation.
I want to see the weather as mentioned in the journal of 20.00 o'clock. 

Found in two click the weather report of the 18.00 o'clock journal. Great.
Try to camp with my own caravan in august.

  1. Look at availability
  2. Created a reservation
  3. Checking if the reservation is correct. Process stopped

Best user experience so far.
  3. - Much more information is necessary for a reservation than
Overall score

In my humble opinion should be the winner of the usability award 2010.

The Design test

Testing the design is subjective, however there are some methods which helps.

The small screen test
The first one, is the small screen test. This test is easy to do and I will tell you the result now.

From the following sites, only the Helenahoeve has a seperate design for small screens.

The grayscale test

How good are the designs when you don't see colors at all?

In my opinion,, and are too busy. 

The blur test

Almost the same test, however now we use color, but there was a gaussian blur of 5 pixels. Lets see what it looks like.

Now only from, and it is clear which sitename is involved. The and seems to have the best readable test.

What else could I say about the designs. Personally I prefer the design of nos,nl and has too few battles for these sites. I am curious about the opinion of the Dutch web users (so I have to wait for results of the Usability Award 2010 for this one).

Content test

This is the most difficult test. For each site I have to know what I expect. Okay, lets give it a try. is working hard at several disiplines. Second hand books, toys, you name it and they sell it.

What information do they have about the new Nintendo DS XL or alternatively the Nintendo DSi? Founded very quickly, however it was not directly clear to me that the XL also have two camera's. After a search on Google I found that fact.

Do they have the book titled "help mijn dochter is hoogbegaafd". Yes they have it. However the information about the book is poor. More information is available via a Google search, and you even will find the book in Google books.

On a personal scale of 5 stars, I will give 3 stars (remember this test is subjective).

Ditzo is about insurrance. I want to know what happens if I buy a new car and how much I have to pay after an accident.

No information found about the insurrance when switching cars (sold the old one and bought a new one). No information found about the monthly costs after an accident.

On a personal scale of 5 stars, got zero stars.

Eduhub is about training. It is a very advanced startpage. Lets see what the can tell me about sculpture ("beeldhouwen") and "electro installateur".

Found a 1 day Art event for "beeldhouwen". That's not what I am looking for. Searching for "electro installateur" gave zero results, however searching for "installateur" gave 10 hits. The second hit contained the information I was looking for.

Eduhub got 3 stars (out of 5). It could have been 4 if they have usefull information about "beeldhouwen".

I rarely sleep in a hotel. Too expensive. But hey, lets give it a try. A hotel for a romantic weekend near the sea, and a F1 hotel or something like that near Paris.

Wow, found very quickly a hotel for a romatic weekend I will choose Cape Helius. And now up to the sun. The first day we will make it to Paris (plus minus 50 kilometer). Hmm, something went wrong is a strange message when there are no search results. Ok found that is for hotels in the Benelux.

I will give 4 stars, out of 5.

At it is all about news.

Recently it was not possible to fly. How many people still need their flight? Not found.
Sony stopped with the 3.5 inch disc. Is that a newsitem? Yes, great article.

I don't use often, I prefer, however the content seems ok. 3 stars out of 5 for the content.

I build this site, but hey lets fake that I knew nothing. What would I like to find on this site?

Where is the site about?
Where are the shops?

Found directly where the site is about. No useful information found about "winkels" or "boodschappen", however the information about "Sluis" is ok.

I give 3 out of 5 stars.

So the ranking is:

  1. with 4 stars;
  2.,, and with 3 stars;
  3. with zero stars.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Navigation test

What should I test when I want to test navigation?
  1. I want to go to the homepage within one click;
  2. I want to browse to the contact page and the privacy page;
  3. I want to go to the sitemap within one click;
  4. I want to use the backbutton;
  5. I want to find a specific item.
The test sites are the sites nominated for the usability award 2010 and of course

To the homepage with one click
  1. Yes, one click on the logo
  2. Yes, one click on the home tab
  3. Yes, one click on the logo
  4. Yes, one click on the logo
  5. Yes, one click on the logo
  6. Yes, one click on the logo
To the contact page
  1. One click, "klantenservice" at the right upper corner
  2. Telephone number and information form at homepage
  3. Two clicks "Over Eduhub", "Contact"
  4. One click, "contact" at the right upper corner
  5. One click, "contact" at the right lower corner
  6. One click, "contact" at the right upper corner 
To the privacy page
  1. One click "privacy policy" in the footer
  2. One click "privacy" in the footer
  3. One click "voorwaarden & privacy" in the footer
  4. One click, "privacy" at the right lower corner
  5. Not found
  6. One click, "privacy"  at the right lower corner

To the sitemap
  1. Not found
  2. One click "sitemap" in the footer
  3. Not found, however the homepage gives a great overview
  4. Not found
  5. Not found
  6. One click, "privacy"  at the right lower corner
Backbutton working at the whole site? (as far as I know)

  1. Search for book "priemgetallen", found directly 
  2. Search for "wegenwachthulp", "pechhulp", visible at the homepage
  3. Search for "diĆ«tiste", not found, "dietiste", found directly (6 results)
  4. Search for a hotel in Leiden for tonight, found directly 8 hotels available
  5. Search for "kandidaten groenlinks", not found
  6. Search for "caravan", found directly
Conclusion so far, all sites are good enough. There is not an outstanding site.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Candidates Usability Award 2010

The candidates for the usability awards 2010 are:
The scores for the webguidelines are:
  1. 36 points;
  2. 28 points;
  3. 40 points;
  4. 40 points;
  5. 42 points.
The validation results of these sites are:
  1. Not valid, 111 errors;
  2. Not valid, 390 errors;
  3. Not valid, 16 errors;
  4. Valid XHTML Strict;
  5. Valid XHTML Transitional.
Quality is not the same thing as usability.

The loadtime of these sites are:
  1. 4.9 seconds;
  2. 25.7 seconds;
  3. 1 second;
  4. 1.7 seconds;
  5. 1.4 seconds.
So Ditzo is far to slow.

Lipperhey scores:
  1. technical 7.3, seo score 76%, popularity 10, overall score 8.3;
  2. technical 6.7, seo score 74%, popularity 8, overall score 7.4;
  3. technical 7.3, seo score 83%, popularity 8, overall score 7.9;
  4. technical 7.8, seo score 84%, popularity 9, overall score 8.4;
  5. technical 6.6, seo score 71%, popularity 10, overall score 7.9;
How liguid are the designs (when does the horizontal scrollbar appear):
  1. 1 x "CTRL +";
  2. 1 x "CTRL +";
  3. 1 x "CTRL +";
  4. 1 x "CTRL +";
  5. 1 x "CTRL +";
Is it easy to contact the organisation. Is there a real e-mail address or a contact form.
  1. e-mail address plus contact form;
  2. no e-mail address, you have to make a phonecall;
  3. e-mail address plus contact form;
  4. e-mail address, no contact form;
  5. e-mail address, no contact form;
Overall I think that based on these tests should be the winnar. However you should score these websites on the following aspects:
  1. Navigation;
  2. Content;
  3. Design;
  4. Usability (Is the site easy to use).
In a next blog I will answer these questions.

    Monday, 12 April 2010

    How fast is fast enough

    Now speed is relevant for your score in Google, people are thinking about the necessary speed. On Seochat they state the following:

    If your website's average loading time is below 9.82 seconds, your website is loading VERY fast as compared to the average websites ranking in Google at Position 1. You do not need to improve in this case.

    Sorry, but even according to the old formula you are slower than everyone else. If you focus on people instead of on Google you should know that the loading time should be 1 or 2 seconds max. See respectively these articles from Jakob Nielsen and Akamai.

    For this test Seochat used  stopwatch from and Google Chrome. I tested several times with this stopwatch in several browsers:
    • 1.9 seconds in Internet Explorer
    • 0.7 seconds in Opera
    • 1.8 seconds in Firefox
    • 0.4 seconds in Google Chrome
    So when you use Internet Explorer you browse roughly 4 times slower than tested. So the consequence is that a performance of 40 seconds should be enough for IE users? I don't think so...

    I promise you, try to be faster than 2 seconds and you will reach much more people who will use your site.