Web usability guidelines
- Home page usability: 20 guidelines to evaluate the usability of home pages.
- Task orientation: 44 guidelines to evaluate how well a web site supports the users tasks.
- Navigation and IA: 29 guidelines to evaluate navigation and information architecture.
- Forms and data entry: 23 guidelines to evaluate forms and data entry.
- Trust and credibility: 13 guidelines to evaluate trust and credibility.
- Writing and content quality: 23 guidelines to evaluate writing and content quality.
- Page layout and visual design: 38 guidelines to evaluate page layout and visual design.
- Search usability: 20 guidelines to evaluate search.
- Help, feedback and error tolerance: 37 guidelines to evaluate help, feedback and error tolerance.
You can also download translated versions of this checklist (in French, Spanish and Russian).
How to use these guidelines
Work through each of the guidelines in each list and mark your site as either conforming or not conforming to the guideline.
Remember that all guidelines are context specific. If you feel that a guideline does not apply to your site, it's OK to ignore it.
The guidelines are purposefully expressed as positive statements, so that when you feed the results back to the design team you can identify some strengths of the design before you launch into the problems.
And remember that guidelines can get you only so far. Nothing replaces a good design process.
About the author
Dr. David Travis (@userfocus on Twitter) holds a BSc and a PhD in Psychology and he is a Chartered Psychologist. He has worked in the fields of human factors, usability and user experience since 1989 and has published two books on usability. David helps both large firms and start ups connect with their customers and bring business ideas to market. If you like his articles, you'll love his online user experience training course.
Love it? Hate it? Join the discussion
Have you used these guidelines to evaluate an interface? Which guidelines do you find most useful?
- Home page usability
- Task orientation
- Navigation and IA
- Forms and data entry
- Trust and credibility
- Writing and content quality
- Page layout and visual design
- Search usability
- Help, feedback and error tolerance
“One of the best spreadsheets I've ever seen!” – @handrus “This covers it all! Great resource-->RT.” – @WP4SmallBiz “Definitely Bookmarked!!” – @gregprogramming “Well thought out info for improving site usability.” – @stevemclintock “Une mine d'or!” – @profstiw “This is fab, fab, fab RT.” – @blakey “Great collection of 247 web usability guidelines.” – @olli101