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Assignment 2: Usability Critique and Report

Designing effective websites not only requires knowledge of web authoring tools, but it also necessitates an understanding of “usability.” Usability is vital for web design. Usability is defined by five criteria: learnability, efficiency, memorability, errors, and satisfaction. Another attribute is “utility,” which concerns the functionality of the website. In short, does the website do what users need it to do, and also in a way that makes sense to them? If a website is difficult to navigate, makes key information hard to find, or makes completing a transaction difficult, then the user will leave the website. For this assignment, you will critique a website of your choosing and write a 3- to 5-page MS Word report providing your recommendations for improvement.


  1. Review the following article:

Nielsen, J. (2012). Usability 101: Introduction to usability. Neilson Norman Group. Retrieved from: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/usability-101-introduction-to-usability. They are well-known for communicating the industry standard for design and useablitity.

  1. Identify a website in need of a re-design (i.e., past or present employer). Please obtain a screen capture of the site to submit with your final report.
  2. Critique the website regarding “usability” according to the 5 quality components defined in the Nielsen article:
    1. Learnability: How easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time they encounter the design?
    2. Efficiency: Once users have learned the design, how quickly can they perform tasks?
    3. Memorability: When users return to the design after a period of not using it, how easily can they reestablish proficiency?
    4. Errors: How many errors do users make, how severe are these errors, and how easily can they recover from the errors?
    5. Satisfaction: How pleasant is it to use the design?
  1. Offer at approximately 5–7 recommendations for improving the website. Provide a rationale for each one.

Your final deliverable will be a Word document of approximately 3–5 pages (including your screen capture). Utilize at least 2 scholarly/professional sources (beyond your textbook and Nielson article) in your research. Your paper should be written in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrate ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; and display accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Submission Details:

By Week 4, Day 7, save the document as M4_A2_Lastname_Firstname.doc and submit it to the M4 Assignment 2 Dropbox.

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