Throughout the past 16 years, New Target has worked with nonprofits, government agencies, and commercial businesses to evaluate and audit web properties and strategies in order to provide recommendations for most effectively reaching audiences online.
We analyze details such as how the eye naturally flows across a page, how many clicks users have been “trained” to expect to execute when taking an action, and how much time an organization has to capture a user until they become frustrated. In other words, we work with our clients to design or architect a flow which will create a great user experience – our (and your) ultimate goal. An audit can tell us about the user’s current experience as well as their desired experience helping us to achieve that goal.
The cornerstone of the audit is a thorough review of the goals for the website, key messaging, success metrics and other relevant information. Through this we sharpen the focus on business goals and ensure that they are accurately reflected in the web properties.
We recently completed comprehensive usability audits for two of our clients, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Mathematical Association of America. During these audits, we reviewed the websites, interviewed relevant stakeholders, and surveyed site users, as well as conducted usability tests with prototypes. During all of this we were asking questions like:
- How easy is it to find information using the top level navigation?
- What happens when a navigation link is followed?
- Do links provide adequate “information hints” regarding the content that is linked to?
- Does every page provide a “map” that keeps the user oriented to how that page fits into the rest of the site, so that he or she always knows where they are in relation to the entire site?
- What other navigation aids are available (or missing) from the site?
- How well does the content reflect the site owner’s business, mission and marketing messaging? How easy is it to understand?
- Does design effectively capture the visitor, convey the appropriate image, facilitate site navigation and communicate the most relevant and compelling messages?
Additionally, we reviewed the web usage logs to determine most popular and least popular pages, to search terms that visitors have used to find the site in Google and other search engines, as well as other data.
The result of both projects was a report that included the findings from the audit and detailed recommendations for improving the overall user experience. We delivered the report in a narrative summary of all gathered user feedback together with wireframes and a site map that displayed in a visual format our recommendations for improving their websites.
We have so much more we could write on the topic of web audits and usability tests, but Carlo explains it best. Give him a call at 703-548-3433 or email him at [email protected] and he will be happy to tell you all about it.