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Further comments on this article are now closed.

Pete Stirland wrote:

This is a great resource and I like the way you have organised the guidelines into home page, task orientation, IA, etc. This provides a logical way to feed the results back to the design team. Many thanks!

I'd like to edit some of the wordings in the Excel spreadsheet but it's locked. Can you let me know the password to make changes?

-- posted at 04:07 PM on July 16, 2009
Reply to Pete Stirland
David Travis wrote:

Thanks for your comments Pete. I locked the worksheets to prevent anyone making changes by mistake. To make the spreadsheet editable, you need to go to Excel's "Tools" menu and choose "Protection > Unprotect sheet". You won't need a password.

-- posted at 04:41 PM on July 16, 2009
David Hamill wrote:

Excellent resource as usual, David. In particular I like the way you give reasoned guidelines. For example, if the site is large then consider a search. Usually you'd find a guideline saying that you need a search box and it needs to be on the top right hand side or whatever.

The most usable websites are delivered through understanding principles rather than supposed 'rules' and these guidelines recognise that fact.

-- posted at 11:08 PM on July 21, 2009
Luis-Miguel Calzón wrote:

Is the checklist available in other languages?

-- posted at 05:08 PM on July 22, 2009
Reply to Luis-Miguel Calzón
David Travis wrote:

Yes, the checklist is available in other languages. Take a look at this list of translations.

If you can translate it into another language, please let me know.

-- posted at 06:12 PM on July 22, 2009

Designers are visual people. Put together some visual examples of each of the guidelines and it will be much more effective. Adding images are KEY to this type of article.

Great points all around. This is all important information for anyone thinking they can design/build a web site.

-- posted at 04:26 AM on September 22, 2009

Versión web para llenar el test de usabilidad en línea (español)

Ya está disponible la versión web del material, anteriormente la traducción en español sólo estaba publicada en formato de hoja de cálculo, ahora ya se puede llenar via web por medio del siguiente enlace:


Esperamos que el material sea de gran ayuda para la comunidad de desarrolladores web e interesados en el tema de la usabilidad y el mejoramiento de la calidad de los sitios web en general.

-- posted at 07:55 PM on November 04, 2009
Catrina Davis wrote:

I have found this to be a great start as a reference, though examples by illustration would also be great to add. Like for example: usability.gov. I am a developer and have worked on making government and other sites usable and accessible for over 8 years.

-- posted at 11:55 AM on January 14, 2010
Bev Evans wrote:

I have recently used your worksheet which is excellent. I wanted to change some of the formatting but seem unable to change the green background colour that you've used for alternate rows for the checkpoints. Please advise.

-- posted at 02:09 PM on March 12, 2010
Reply to Bev Evans
David Travis wrote:


I'm glad you're finding it useful.

Here's how to change the background colour.

On the Mac version of Excel:

1. Choose Tools > Protection > Unprotect Sheet
2. Select the cells with the green background (e.g. on the 'Home Page' sheet, select cells B10:E30)
3. Choose Conditional Formatting.
4. Choose Format...
5. Choose Patterns
6. Pick a colour, then OK, then OK again.

On the PC version of Excel:

1. Click the Select All button at the top of the sheet (a triangle button between the row numbers and column letters)
2. Choose Conditional Formatting
3. Choose Manage Rules
4. Click Edit Rule button
5. Click format button next to Preview
6. Pick a colour then OK, OK, then OK again

You'll need to do this for every sheet in the workbook I'm afraid.

-- posted at 05:13 PM on March 12, 2010
Travis Smith wrote:

Can you give some explanation on how you calculate the score for each worksheet? It is just not clicking for me.

Thanks! Love the worksheet.

-- posted at 04:54 PM on April 27, 2010
Reply to Travis Smith
David Travis wrote:

It's a simple (some might say simplistic) formula. We simply find the total of the +1, 0 and -1 scores for each guideline and then express this as a percentage of the number of guidelines that were evaluated. For example, imagine you rated the site against just four guidelines (not a good idea but it makes the following explanation easy). For the guidelines one and two, you rate the site as compliant (+1), for the third guideline you rate the site as non-compliant (-1) and for the fourth guideline you're not sure (0). This adds up to 1 (1 + 1 -1 + 0). Since you used four guidelines, the average is 25% (1/4). This number is then carried forward to the summary worksheet, which calculates an overall score.

I'll be the first to admit this scoring system isn't perfect. For a start, it assumes that all the guidelines are equally important, when some may be much more important for your web site than others. But it does give you a rough idea of where the site is doing well or badly. I've not tried a more sophisticated scoring scheme as I don't think the score is that important: it's identifying the problems and fixing them. But if you have a better way of scoring, please let me know!

-- posted at 05:27 PM on April 27, 2010
Joe Grant wrote:

Enjoying using these guidelines for the first time at work. One suggestion: Have you considered a guideline that "look-ahead" text should be offered in search and other free-form fields that have a finite number of useful text values? For example, Google instant search does this. But a number of sites have this feature, and it does make things much easier and faster for users.

Thanks again,
- Joe

-- posted at 06:01 PM on December 03, 2010
Reply to Joe Grant
David Travis wrote:

Thanks for this great suggestion, Joe. It would be a good addition in the 'Task orientation' or 'Search usability' categories. I'll start creating an addendum.

-- posted at 06:43 PM on December 03, 2010
jordisan wrote:

Nice work!

Can you take a look at our tool AccUsa: squac.iti.upv.es/accusa ? I think it may be interesting to integrate some functions from your spreadsheet into it.


-- posted at 04:16 PM on January 27, 2011
Reply to jordisan
David Travis wrote:

Thanks for the link. It looks interesting, but I'm on a Mac and I can't run Microsoft Access. I hope you can port it to another platform.

-- posted at 05:12 PM on January 27, 2011
youngri wrote:

What a great work.
I wish I can translate to Korean.
Could you reply through e-mail?

-- posted at 12:50 PM on June 16, 2011
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