Create Your First Sample Usability Report

Those responsible for testing the usability of their websites might be excited to share the findings in a lengthy document that their colleagues may not read in its entirety (although clients might). 

In Website Magazine's upcoming October 2017 issue (access our digital archive here), conversion rate optimization expert Martin Greif of SiteTuners warned against publishing a "50-page slide deck." Instead, he provided some actionable advice, which is the basis of what we've included below.

Item #1
Include a recording of the person using the site to be referenced later. The more users using the site that can be included in the single video the better (brevity is a friend). Depending on the solution used, the report's author may be able to link to the solution's site that is hosting the video(s), share in Google Drive, or have to upload to YouTube (be sure it's private).

[Watch real users using out website here:]

Userbrain provides several example videos that are worth checking out, here.

Items #2 & #3
Here, the report's author(s) will want to include bullet points about the three most serious usability issues (after a batch of tests has been completed, says Greif) and a recommendation on the simplest possible fix for the worst of the issues (he continues to say those fixes that do not need a website redesign or a new content management system for example). 

  • [Most serious usability issue]
    • [Recommendation]
  • [Second most serious usability issue]
    • [Recommendation]
  • [Third most serious usability issue]
    • [Recommendation]
While the format is a bit different, Intechnic Corporation published an excellent whitepaper on what a sample user-experience audit should look like. Its report can be found in its entirety here

In Intechnic's sample report, the authors found the homepage carousel to be the worst usability offender. 
( Image source)

In Greif's suggested format, this item would be listed as the top bullet point followed by a recommendation. Intechnic immediately provided a recommendation under its findings, which we've included below.
  • Carousel Image Slider
    • RECOMMENDATION: Replace the carousel with an interactive UserCentric
      Wizard that will help users quickly find the information they are
      looking for based on who they are and what they need. The real estate
      taken up by the carousel can be used more effectively.
We encourage you to read through Intechnic's report as not only is the information valuable but so is the formatting. We can bet their clients appreciate the final list that Intechnic includes of all 23 of its recommendations listed in order of importance. Finally, they are critical issues to be fixed but nothing that would require a redesign or replatforming, which makes them less taxing to address.