Usability index, usability checklist, quality, Web documents, WWW, World Wide Web, technical writing, information development, page design, guidelines.


This paper discusses the development of a checklist that you can use to measure the usability index of your Web site. The paper: (1) summarizes existing ways to measure the usability of a Web site; (2) describes the development of a question-and-answer checklist that calculates a usability index; (3) applies the checklist to an example Web site.

What is usability?

In the context of this paper, usability refers to how easy it is to find, understand and use the information displayed on a Web site. Unfortunately, testing for usability is not an integral part of the Web site development process; however, a checklist can help information developers to design efficient, functional pages.

What is a checklist?

A list of questions that require a yes or no answer. The checklist questions are designed to assess certain quantifiable features of Web documents, such as the conciseness of their writing style and the degree to which their organization is user-centered.

What is a usability index?

A measure, expressed as a per cent, of how closely the features of a Web site match generally accepted usability guidelines.

For the definition of more terms, see the Glossary.

After defining the terms, our first step was to review the related Research.