Uncover Site Usability & Performance Issues with Monitoring Methods and Tools

When you are creating a website, you have to keep in mind that no website is perfect in first attempt. This means you need to monitor the site and perform a number of usability tests before you actually launch the site. If your site has usability issues, it can result in poor user experience and needless to say that it will make your site unpopular with users. 
The previous experience of website developers has shown that no matter how much you test your new website, there are some mistakes that are uncovered by your users. There is a lesson here, you need to put yourself in the users’ shoes in order to better identify issues with your new site.  It may not completely eliminate every issue, but it does a good job of minimizing the issues.
There are some reviewing, monitoring and usability testing methods and tools you can carry out to detect issues with your website in order to improve the site’s speed and user experience.   

Cognitive Walkthrough 

The cognitive walkthrough test mainly explores the possible reactions of the users as they go through the site. It presupposes certain on-site behaviors from the users and sees how their expectations are met with. To carry out this test, the testing team needs to imagine itself in the shoes of a user and then analyze the functional aspects of the site.   

Heuristic Evaluation

The heuristic evaluation focuses on using subject matter experts to predict different types of site problems within an interface, such mobile app, website app or website and then rate the problems. The heuristic evaluation is a popular usability testing method. 

Site Monitoring Service

A good site monitoring service is not only automated but provides a comprehensive review of a website. It can check the site from multiple locations and also check if the 3rd party API is working properly.  Since a website gets traffic 24/7 and 365 days it’s not possible to manually review the site continuously. The advantage of website monitoring is that it not only continuously checks for site uptime, it also sends a alert via SMS, email or other methods to take corrective action for an issue.

Navigation Stress Test

Navigation stress test can help you to detect navigation issues with your website and enable you to take key design decisions on a conscious level. In order to perform the navigation stress test, you need to choose a random page from your website and assume you are entering the site at this page for the 1st time. Then, see if you are able to successfully answer important navigation questions. Here are some navigation questions you could use. 

  • What is the web page about?
  • How can I get to home page?
  • What part of the site does this page fit into?
  • What are the most important segments of this site?
  • What is the page just one level up or down from here?
  • What does each set of links in this site represent?

Make sure you perform a navigation stress test with the most important navigation questions, as they can help find areas to improve the user experience.        

Checklist Review or Guidelines Review 

The checklist review is basically a type of manual usability and performance testing that helps you to check important aspects of navigation, visual design, performance and responsiveness. You need to create a list of questions or evaluation points and then go through them to ensure that your site is optimized. This test prevents ignoring reviewing a detailed list of items by having a summary overview type of review. This helps in ensuring a site with good usability and performance.

In an increasingly digitized world with much of the interactions happening online, it is important to design, execute and monitor the website for optimal performance. Site performance and usability have a key role to play in reaching the desired objectives for a website. It is too important to be neglected or be taken casually.