Check Your Site’s Web Usability with These 5 Free/Low Cost Testing Tools

You don’t have to be an expert nor a design firm with the latest in usability technology to run some great usability testing. In the last few years, there have been a large amount of free or cheap tools that have been created by the web design community to help everyday website owners like you. These tools will allow you to cover a wide range of web usability standards and help you make quick improvements to your site. Without further ado, here is a list of some handy tools.

1. Juicy Studio’s Readability Test
If content is king then you owe it to yourself to make sure that your content is easy to consume. This testing tool allows you to simply take the URL of your page and scan it for readability. It checks against three different algorithms with explanations on how your page was scored and what you can do to improve it.

2. GTmetrix Site Loading Optimization Tool
The longer it takes for your site to load, the more likely the user will leave. Loading speed is critical to your site’s success and GTmetrix can help you improve it. It will analyze your website and score you on various factors. Then, it will identify problem areas that are hurting your site’s loading speed and give you recommendations on what to change.

3. IntuitionHQ for User Task Analysis
Where are your users clicking and how are they using your site? IntuitionHQ helps you answer these questions by analyzing each task that you set. The tasks will be measured on various factors from learnability, memorability, to intuitiveness. You’ll also get a helpful heat map to get an idea of where the click real estate is allocated.

4. Browser Shots for Accessibility Analysis
Is your website compatible across multiple browsers? Browser Shots helps you find the answer. It checks your website against multiple browsers and multiple versions of each browser. You can also test various screen sizes, run javascript, and run flash to see how your website fares.

5. Survey Monkey for Direct Feedback
One of the best ways to get feedback is to engage your users with surveys. There are many tools that you can use for running surveys but Survey Monkey is simply one of the best and easiest tools to use. It is free for small surveys and there is a small fee to collect more responses and get advanced customization features.

These are just a small snippet of web usability tools that you can use to improve your website. Just look around hard enough, you’ll find there is goldmine of tools at your disposal. If you’re looking to improve your website and web design, it’s just a matter of getting around to using these tools.

Goran Paunovic

Goran Paunovic is a Creative Director of Chicago based ArtVersion Interactive Agency. He has spent the better part of his career helping companies focus their branding and visual face and voice to brands around the world.

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