Site usability evaluation is a tough nut to crack without the offline research where one actually can put an individual in front of a Mac (choice of computer intentional) and observe the browsing and navigating momentum.

And the main question here is how to build the website so users can find in a fast way the information they need and for the developer to show that added value information that makes the site different from the competitor’s one. So what are the benefits from doing that offline research on an online system:

  1. Evaluation navigational and search options
    • how fast the user can find the targeted information/product/content
    • how important collaborative categorization – customer review availability, grading etc.
    • how many variety product options are there and how the user is choosing the one to purchase/consume
  2. Evaluation of page parts/wiki/widgets visibility
    • what does the user see really
    • what attracts/repulses his/her attention
  3. Evaluation of emotional state while browsing/searching:
    • what is the perception of the website
    • Is the activity frustrating or pleasant
  4. Real-time feedback on usability
  5. Benchmark against competitors

So, have research in mind when you build your business online!

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