7 Useful Tools for Evaluating a Web Design

Posted By Sujith Kosaraju on July 27th, 2010

A website design is  only effective when users are able to find information quickly and in a logical fashion.

A right design has to answer the questions like

  • Do users visit the content you want them to visit?
  • Are users looking in the right places of your web page?
  • Are the page usage metrics inline to the set targets?
  • Is the website be able to keep user’s attention, or do the users leave quickly leading to higher bounce rates?
  • Is the conversion on the e-commerce page good?

Also it’s not just about only the content a newly designed page should also meet the set performance metrics . If your design loads slowly – or if moving from one section to another takes a long time – it affects the user’s experience and in turn will effect the overall usage.

So it is important that any new page design/ revamp of existing page design should meet all the user metrics & performance metrics before being approved. So the job of the Designer/Website Owner becomes extremely critical to make-or-break the design.

There are plenty of tools that are available at the disposal of the web designers today to check the effectiveness of the page design, listed below are 7 incredibly useful Web Design Testing Tools that will help you in analyzing and optimizing your page layout.

1. ClickHeat

ClickHeat is free visual evaluation tool that will help to understand the “hot” and “cold” zones of a web page. It allows you to see which spots users click on most, and which spots are being ignored.

clickdensity-heatmap

Being JS driven, Implementation of Clickheat on to your website is every easy, you only have to include an external JavaScript file onto the webpage that you want to conduct the test.

Download: Clickheat on SourceForge.net.

2. Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg is a paid service that offer wide variety of analytical tools to help you visualize what visitors are doing on your webpage.

crazyegg-confetti

CrazyEggg features include:

Confetti – allowing you to see what people are clicking on based on certain factors such as their operating system and where they came from, Overlay – providing you with tons of data about particular links, and Report sharing – enabling you to share the data with team members and clients.

The free version only allows 4 pages to be tracked – so use your top landing pages to get the most data.

Basic version starts at $9 per month backed up by a 30 day money back guarantee and allows you to track 10000 visits and up to 10 different pages.

3. YSlow for Firebug

YSlow for Firebug is a free tool for Mozilla Firefox that gives you information about the performance of your web pages. YSlow is based on the Yahoo! Developer Network’s  “Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site” which is written by Steve Soulders that helps in performance tuning of WebPages.

yslow_performancegrade

YSlow has a rating system in place and gives you a letter grade (A through F) and outlines your web page’s trouble spots. Apart from highlighting the trouble spots it also gives the measures to correct and improve the issues.

Downloads: Firebug extension for Firefox (required) and YSlow.

4. Click Density

clickdensity is another usability analysis tool that will help you assess the performance of your web page design.

clickdensity-heatmap

Clickdensity gives you two important tools to evaluate the performance of website design

  1. Heat maps – You can use heat maps showing where users click on the most.
  2. Hover maps – which shows people scrolling over links but not clicking on them.
  3. A/B Tests – which allows you to change certain page elements to see which style is more effective.

The free subscription give you 5,000 clicks and only one page and one site to monitor. The paid service starts at $5 per month and goes up to $400 per month which will track unlimited websites and stores 5,000,000 clicks.

5. Click Tale

ClickTale offers a lot of user data pertaining to how visitors use your website. It is one step further to the other visual evaluation tools, it tracks the user behavior by recording user video sessions.

Clicktale tracks customer experience of any page by recording actual video sessions of the users and allows the website administrator to view the videos at later point of time to analyze what the user has been doing on that page.

clicktale-example

There are plenty of things you can look at such as average time it takes for a user to click on a link, a user’s hesitation on clicking a link, hover to click ratio, and much more. It also provides detailed reports and charts on your users’ monitor sizes to better optimize your web page design to cater for the typical visitor.

The free subscription give you 400 recorded video page views per month. The paid service starts at $99 per month which will track 20,000 video page views along with the ability to track https WebPages.

6. Clicky

Perhaps the most interesting feature that Clicky has is its real-time tracking and monitoring feature, called Spy (check out the demo here).

clicky

Besides Spy, there’s a host of other analytics data you can look at such as userActions – which records click data from your users and Visitors – providing you user data.

7. Google Analytics

One of the best free services that Google offers is Google Analytics and probably the most well-known analytics tool. It’s incredibly easy to install and offers plenty of user and content data to help you learn more about your web pages’ performance.

googleanalytics-heatmap-example

It has a feature called Site Overlay, which gives you a visual representation of the popular places your users like to click on. It also offers data on bounce rates and your top exit pages (to see what pages make users leave).

So above are some of the best tools available in the market to help you troubleshoot and optimize your page layout.

Please add any other Web Design evaluation tools you have used by leaving a comment.

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