I have my own model for looking at website quality, but the big boys a Forrester take it to a whole new level...They use 25 questions if four broad categories:
- Value = Can the user accomplish their prescribed tasks?
- Navigation = Heuristics
- Presentation = is it pretty and easy to use?
- Trust = Does the online presence create and foster trust?
A critique of the Forrester Website Review Methodology:
Sounds impressive, no? I had a closer view of how Forrester ranks websites from a heuristic usability perspective. The methodology is solid and references are dense, but when I map them against the 6 criteria in my model, it stacks up like this:
Accessibility (how easy it is to find the site?) = 0 criteria
Immersibility (how easy it is for the user to immerse the user in the experience?) = 16 of 25 criteria across their four axes
Content (depth, breadth, relevancy, recency) = 4 criteria
Capabilities (tools) = 10 criteria
Community (can users share and learn from each other?) = 2 criteria
Commerce (how good is the e-commerce engine?) = 3 criteria
In other words, their model doesn't take into account the importance of Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, and user cross-interaction. It focuses on 'how easy the site is to use', which is fine. But, it misses critical elements for an engaging, elegant, lasting user experience.
Yeah, they'll probably sue me...