December 9th 2007
Many designers have different conceptual ways in which they begin their web sites. When I create a site, I structure it as follows:
- Create (X)HTML markup (separating top/content/navigation/footer areas with divs)
- Create content for page
- Use PHP for inclusion of common navigation areas (breadcrumb, sidebar, etc)
- Use PHP for inclusion of header
- Use PHP for inclusion of footer
Once it validates – then (and only then) do I create the external CSS file for it. Let me say that besides making sure you SEO the markup (source order, meta, keyword densities, etc.), accessibility is integrated every step of the way.
Once the site passes the standard WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) checklists (A, AA, AAA) – I begin my usability testing. So this my simple test of usability. You can get very detailed in your testing, but for the sake of the
title of this post, let me ask you to run this test on your sites. And also, do you run any type of usability test for your designs?
Here’s what I do, and let me know what you do:
- Load my page, and squint my eyes (Yes, I’m serious). Can I still read the content, and differentiate between background/foreground colors?
- Next I move my mouse out of reach (like behind my desk). Now, just using my keyboard, can I navigate my entire site?
Of course, this is an extremely simple test…but what do you all do for your usability testing?