UX/UI testing is an essential step in website development. You should plan for testing early in the process and decide what will be tested in addition to the tools you will use. Remember that you cannot test everything, so prioritization should also take place.
This post is based on my own experience as well as the UX and Web Design Masters course and provides a basic framework for website testing.
This table structures testing parameters into several categories. Below I will explain the first three groups of criteria. My next post will cover the rest of the parameters.
- Links to and from pages on the site should point to a correct destination. This includes mailto: and social media links. While you will not be able to control all the incoming links (links coming from other domains), bear in mind that changing your URLs without a redirect will cause them to become invalid. Pay special attention to internal links, that is cross-linking between the site’s pages.
- Things to check on the forms are default form values, required data format, entry validation and storing entered information.
- Apart from including a privacy statement, test what happens if cookies get rejected, blocked or deleted by users. Also check that all information is encrypted and that cookies are not stored longer than required.
- The capability to be indexed by search engines is an aspect less related to the UI/UX of the page, however, it directly affects if and how your website appears in Google Search results. A popular tool to use is Google Search Console. This tool additionally checks the site usability on mobile devices.
- Database connections include correct execution of database queries, reliable data storage and retrieval and correct updating of stored information in case of any changes.
- Navigation clarity means that users should be able to find what they need on the site using the navigation. Furthermore, the navigation should stand out from the rest of the content and its elements should be labeled clearly.
- Ideally, the content of the website should match website visitors’ expectations, but in any case it should be understandable and actionable.
- Distraction in the desired user journeys, such as a number of pop-ups or multiple CTAs should be avoided.
- Calls-to-action express the purpose of your website or, in other words, what you want users to do. In my post on CTAs I covered how they should be formulated and designed.
- The main benchmark of your website’s usability is the ability of users to complete their tasks. Users should be satisfied both with the results and the process.
- Beside the correct rendering of fonts and colors, it is important that the overall readability and visibility of the content are not impacted (an example of bad usability is using light font colors over white background). In addition, consider emotional aspects of the website colors and how they match your brand.
- Proper handling of errors means that they are recognized and assigned to the correct category. For example, an HTTP 404 error message is generated when users try to reach a non-existent page. Other examples of errors can be form submission errors or incorrect content display.
- Error handling also includes displaying appropriate and understandable error messages to the user. In parallel, errors should be logged into the system for review. However, make sure not to include any security-sensitive information into the displayed error messages, e.g. usernames.
- It goes without saying that all known errors should be promptly fixed.
In the next part, I will go through testing parameters for compatibility, performance and security.