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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.

12 Excellent Feedback Tools for your Website

Posted By Sujith Kosaraju on November 22nd, 2009

Feedback from users is important for any business which is sensitive to users needs. This is even more critical for a online businesses who doesn’t have the direct interaction with the customers. Website owners want to listen to their customers, but this is easier said than done. Customers don’t always have the time to say exactly what they think, and when they do, they are not sure where they should.

It becomes critical for any business owner to provide proper feedback mechanisms to the customers. Most of the websites have standard feedback mechanisms available through a Feedback/Contact us forms, which is more generic and do not address the need. Also to build a new form and getting that integrated into a bigger sites will be nightmare on regular intervals with out development support.

There are lot of easy to use customisable Feedback tools for a website, the list goes on goes but i have listed down the Top 12 Website Feedback Tools which can be used with ease by any website owner who is keen about customers feedback.

Kampyle Website Feedback Analytics Tool –  Kampyle is an easy to use website feedback analytics tool that gives lot of flexibility to the website administrators to run website feedback forms. In Kampyle Words “A powerful on-demand solution to collect, analyze and manage your website visitors’ feedback. Discover how Kampyle lets you leverage valuable customer feedback to: ” Increase conversion rates, Reduce customer attrition, Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty”.

Good thing about the tool it is fairly easy to integrate on any website and start collecting feedback. Different pricing options are available ranging from $99 to $999. Free version of the tool is also available with limitation being 1 feedback form and 50 feedback items. For a small site this is one of the best free website feedback tool available on the market.

Get Satisfaction – Website Feedback Tool

Get Satisfaction is one of the most popular and easy to integrate feedback gathering tools available on the web.  Setting up the account is a breeze and also it allows you to place a floating feedback tab on your website to easily get feedback from your visitors when clicked. Free and premium packages are available only downside to the tool is feedback analytics.

Uservoice – Feedback Tool

Uservoice is another nice feedback tool, similar to Get Satisfaction (above), which allows you to place a tab on your website to gather feedback from your visitors.  Uservoice has both free and paid plans.  The free plan enables you to have 100 voters monthly and one forum for discussion.

Skribit – Feedback Tool

Skribit is basically a idea sourcing tool which can be placed as a widget on your website that allows users to suggests ideas for the website. You can then gather feedback from the community about your website, get people to suggest post ideas and more. Like the above tools it is also very easy to integrate and free to use.

CrowdSound – Feedback Tool

CrowdSound is also a idea sourcing tool similar to Skribit (reviwed above).  It provides a widget which can be embedded into your website to gather feedback effectively.  Visitors can suggests ideas through the widget, others can vote and do more with the feedback.  CrowdSound is available in both  free and paid versions.

Feedback Jar – Feedback Tool

Feedback Jar is another feedback tool allowing you to put a feedback tab on your website to get feedback from local businesses like restaurants, cafes, bakeries.  Clicking on the tab opens a little popup which gives you a form through which you can send your ideas/feedback to the website owner.  Feedback Jar is free.

Fivesecondtest – Feedback Tool

Fivesecondtest is a free feedback tool and an innovative online feedback gathering tool.  It allows you to set 2 types of test to users.  The first type of test is the classic test in which users are asked to list out the things they remember after viewing an image.  The second test, the click test, where users are asked to click onto areas of an image which are more captivating.  Tests are super quick to create – just upload an image and use the wizard to generate your test and the website will let users take the test.

Usabilla – Feedback Tool

Usabilla is a similar tool to fivesecondtest (reviewed above) and allows designers to put forward their work for visual feedback.  Usabilla is free for use.

IdeaScale – Feedback Tool

IdeaScale allows you to create a page from which your users can contribute ideas to your current project, discuss about it, vote the product and watch its progress.  IdeaScale has both paid and free plans.  The free plan allows unlimited users/ideas/comments but only one moderator.  You also get blog/Twitter/RSS integration of IdeaScale, along with HTML/Logo customization, coupled with a wiki-style editing of posted ideas.

Feedback Army – Feedback Tool

Feedback Army is a paid feedback solution.  You just submit your work for review and feedback, you make the payment of $10 and you get results –  plain simple.  The feedback is represented in a neat way, where your questions are at the top of the page and the feedback are listed below it, at the page bottom.

Launchly – Feedback Tool

If you are launching a new web application startup, make sure you check out Launchly, the free feedback tool!  It allows you to get free feedback on your website and helping you improve your product along the way.

Concept Feedback – Feedback Tool

Concept Feedback is another free feedback tool which allows you to post concepts on their website and easily receive feedback from users there.

Suggestionbox – Feedback Tool

Suggestionbox is a paid service (with 30 day free trial) which allows you to setup, as its name suggests, a Suggestionbox for your users to drop suggestions.  With this tool, you can easily collect feedback from users and use them appropriately for improving your website.

Google Web Master Tools New Interface

Posted By Sujith Kosaraju on May 26th, 2009

Google WebMaster Tools has been completely re-designed by Google based on the user feedback from different conferences and forums.

Highlights of New Webmaster Tools Interface

  • One-stop Dashboard: Google redesigned the Webmaster’s dashboard to bring together data that is viewed regularly by the webmasters like : Links to your site, Top search queries, Sitemaps, Keywords, Crawl Rate and Crawl errors.
  • More top search queries: Webmasters can also see the top 100 queries to track for impressions and clickthroughs.
  • Sitemap tracking for multiple users: Google now allows you to monitor and  track the status of Sitemaps submitted by other users in addition to yourself. You can also view the Robots.txt file
  • Message subscription:  Other important feature which is very much required is the alerts by email has been added onto the webmaster tools. Most of the times I forgot to login now I can Stay up-to-date without having to log in as frequently.
  • Forced Authentication : Previously webmasters have limited access to the data for any site. Google has now made mandatory that all sites must be verified before you can access any features in Webmaster Tools. Earlier features such as Sitemaps, Test Robots.txt and Generate Robots.txt were available for unverified sites.

Go ahead, get started

Webmaster Tools new user interface is available at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/new. Google says that the old user interface will continue to be available for a couple of weeks to give everyone the time to adjust and provide feedback to improve the new Google Webmaster Tools Interface.