How to do a 30-minute website evaluation

Image of the start of a website address

Make it personal. Reviewing a website starts with instinct. Are you smiling when you look at the homepage? Are you compelled to click on? Focus on your immediate reaction and then go on to ask how and why.

Start at the beginning

  • What is your first impression of the homepage?
  • What are your eyes drawn to?
  • What have you found out so far?

Think about text size, font and colours. Break down the key information that you retained, and consider if any content was extraneous. Look at the layout and question if you were drawn to the points that were actually the most useful.

The meaty middle

  • Do you understand what the product does or idea is?
  • Are your questions answered?
  • Can you get back to where you started?

Copy should be clear, concise and exciting. Images should aid explanation so watch for any unnecessary distractions. Layout and navigation should be intuitive so find where your thoughts were interrupted by having to work the site rather than learn from it.

The plot twist – competitor websites

  • What works?
  • Are they doing something better than you?
  • Are you doing something better than them?

Don’t spend long on this, just concentrate on what stands out, good and bad. Comparison puts your site into perspective and seeing how another site works can help you understand why something jarred or felt out of place on your own site.

Tie up the loose ends

Finally go back to your site and note all typos and grammar mistakes, jot down any erroneous uses of language and watch out for inconsistencies in branding or message. Running through the site a second time also alters the impact of any problems and helps to narrow down the worst offenders.

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3 Responses to How to do a 30-minute website evaluation

  1. Chris November 19, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more, I think another valid point is to question if your website instills confidence in the user, if it looks dated or thrown together badly customers are likely to question if they trust you.
    It certainly helps if clients come to us for a rebrand or new website with all of the above already in mind as it tends to focus the brief.
    Knowing where you are and where you want to be is priceless and it doesn’t cost anything but time to research and find out!

  2. Tai opera mini November 29, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Think about text size, font and colours. Break down the key information that you retained, and consider if any content was extraneous. Look at the layout and question if you were drawn to the points that were actually the most useful.

    That is good idea!

  3. Tai facebook November 29, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    It certainly helps if clients come to us for a rebrand or new website with all of the above already in mind as it tends to focus the brief.
    Thanks very much!

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