YOSSN Website Usability Testing Report

(This report was submitted to YOSSN last February 2006. Since we’re too busy (and lazy) to check the website for updates, some of our comments may have already been addressed by YOSSN. I hope.)


The objective of this report is to improve the Your One Stop Shopping Network (YOSSN) website, particularly in areas of usability. Web usability and contingency tests are conducted to identify areas for improvements.

The Tests

The tests conducted here are for web usability and contingency design. Essentially, when we perform tests for usabiltiy, we just try look for possible points of confusion where a customer may stop and hesitate. Making customers stop and think is already a bad sign that your website isn’t very forthcoming with them, and it is at this point that most customers decide to leave.

Contingency Tests

The contingency design tests, on the other hand, are specific tasks to measure how well a website handles errors and failures. The tests and procedure were based on the book, “Defensive Design for the Web” by 37Signals.

The following tests are divided into these potential error or error recovery points:

  1. Forms
  2. URL’s
  3. Help
  4. Login
  5. Search

For each test, a website is given a score from 0 to 2. A score of 2 means that the website properly handles the task specified for the given contingency guideline. A 1 means the error handling is adequate but can be improved, and a 0 means the website fails the test. N/A is given for tasks not applicable to the website.
At the end of the tests, the sum of all the test scores is divided by the highest possible score (number of applicable tests, times 2). This is then multiplied by 100 to get a percentage score.

80% or higher You are treating your customers well (but there’s always room for improvement, of course)
40% to 79% Satisfactory – you may be losing some frustrated customers.
below 40% Your website urgently needs to improve its contingency design.

After conduting 32 tasks, YOSSN got a rating of 39%.

Tasks x 2 62
YOSSN Score 24
Rating 39% (Poor)

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