This page lists questions which may be helpful in the evaluation of the overall usability of an interface.
While they do not represent a checklist which should be used to report usability or accessibility problems, they address things evaluators should be looking for during any review.
Items specific to accessibility are flagged with [a11y]. (The string "a11y" is a common abbreviation for "accessibility".)
Tip: Consider printing a copy of the page, and refer to it during your UX evaluations.
- Is plain language used?
- Is vocabulary familiar to the intended user, avoiding system-oriented terms?
- Does a page's title accurately describe its purpose?
- Are titles and headings clear and distinct?
- Do headings precede related paragraphs?
- Do headings make sense out of context?
- Are related sub-points or sub-navigation links grouped into lists?
- Are sentences and paragraphs short and to the point?
- Have links been front-loaded into sentences?
- Do links make sense out of context?
- Are links unique?
- Are separate ideas kept in separate sentences and paragraphs?
- Is the use of all-upper-case text limited to acronyms?
- Is additional context provided by a mouseover tip when needed (e.g. for links)?
- Are words or sentences emphasized by both colour and weight?
- [a11y] Is there a text alternative that provides the same information for non-text material?
- [a11y] Is there a synchronized alternative for multimedia?
- [a11y] Can users control speed of presentation?
- Is there adequate contrast within images?
Layout and presentation
- Is the order of information natural and logical?
- Is similar information presented in similar, consistent ways?
- Are bulleted or numbered lists used?
- Is white space used to separate ideas?
- Is unnecessary material displayed (clutter)?
- Is flashing that could cause seizures used?
- Is there distracting blinking, flashing, or animation?
- Can users suppress distracting effects?
- Can foreground elements - either text or images - be easily distinguished from the background?
- [a11y] Can browser settings control text size, image size, and colours?
- [a11y] Does the layout adjust to font size and image size?
- [a11y] Can the shape of the layout be adjusted?
- [a11y] Does the layout retain its integrity at 400% magnification?
- [a11y] Is important information emphasized in non-colour ways?
- Are illustrations provided for important concepts?
- Are there summaries of pages and sections of content?
- Are menu items numbered to aid navigation?
- Will vocabulary be familiar to users and not system-oriented?
- Are platform conventions followed?
- [a11y] Can all controls be operated via the keyboard?
- [a11y] Is keyboard-based navigation properly coordinated with screen reader keystroke assignments?
- [a11y] Are there controls that require rapid or time-limited responses?
- [a11y] Are users provided notification of time-out and allowed to request more time?
- [a11y] Does UI Componentry provide rich hint, help, or tooltip text?
- [a11y] Is this accomplished by establishing relationships between the UI widget (could be a form control) and additional help information? (eg. ARIA provides a describedBy and Tooltip relationship for these situations)
Navigation and control
- Does the system always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback, within reasonable time? (Visibility of system status)
- Can users easily recover from errors, unintended actions, or actions that did not lead to desired results (eg undo, back)?
- Is confirmation required when an action is difficult or impossible to undo?
- Is navigation consistent and intuitive?
- Do links match destination titles?
- Does the application follow platform and usability conventions?
- Are well-known pictures and symbols used? (eg. "?" for help, "<" for back, "i" for information).
- Are similar operations or tasks performed in similar ways?
- Are there error-prone operations that can be eliminated?
- Does the application support user memory?
- Are accelerators provided for experienced users?
- Can repetitive actions or frequent activities be made easier?
- Are error messages easy to understand and respond to?
- Is help information and/or documentation available?
- Is it easy to search?
- Is information focused on the user's task?
- Does it provide concrete steps?
- Are illustrations provided to make instructions easier to understand?
- Are there features (e.g. a site map, navigation bar) that help users find content and navigate?
- Are there topic maps for complex content?
- Is there a home page link?