Web Site Usability (Ultimatepatio.Com)

Web Site Usability
In analyzing web site usability, our primary website was ultimatepatio.com, whose stated goal is to provide a large selection of outdoor furniture in order to help the customer “build the patio” of their “dreams” (Shopperchoicecorporate.com).   The purpose of the conducted usability test was to test the ultimatepatio.com for compliance with government regulations, for web page errors, and additionally to test the overall effectiveness of the website from the customer’s point of view.   This analysis was formed by completing two different tasks, searching for two diverse products –a “wicker table” and a “silk hammock”- and then proceeding to purchase these products.   The results from ultimatepatio.com were then compared to two competitor sites, overstock.com and patiofurnitureusa.com, using the same criteria.
Automated Tool Results:
For some, validation is a royal pain. For others, website validation exemplifies the ultimate proof that code is poetry.
Why Validate?
• search engines can spider a page more easily. An error prone page gives spiders fits.
• clean web pages help attract and maintain web visitors
• web pages render better
• web pages are faster
• validation helps coders write better code
• validation is a great learning tool for beginning developers
• some clients demand standards compliant web pages
(http://www.recommendedwebtools.com/index.php/website-validation/, September 27, 2009)
A variety of tools were used to used to validate the UltimatePatio.com website which include the following: World Wide Web Consortium (W3C®) Link Validator (http://validator.w3.org/checklink) and Link Checker (Mozilla Plug-in by Kevin Freitas) were   used to validate hyperlinks; Worldspace (http://www.worldspace.com) and Section508.Info (http://www.section508.info) were used   to validate Section 508 standards;   Y-slow (http://developer.yahoo.com/yslow/)   and Firebug (http://getfirebug.com/)   were used   to test the website load...