The Communication Studio

Site Evaluation

Heuristic ( heuristics; Greek: , "find" or "discover") refers to experience-based techniques for problem solving, learning, and discovery. Heuristic methods are used to speed up the process of finding a good enough solution, where an exhaustive search is impractical. Examples of this method include using a "rule of thumb", an educated guess, an intuitive judgment, or common sense.

The Site Evaluation is often the first step in an engagement. This high-level insight is pretty effective at identifying the low-hanging fruit.�

What Needs to Be Done

I spend some time at your site; pushing, prodding, and taking notes.

In a short period of time I can tell you ...

What it Is

What Needs Work

What's Missing

First Impressions

Evaluation screen
Not clear what the company does. No real guidance. 3 main links are undifferentiated and unclear.
Right hand boxes appear more important than information in main content area.
Links in right hand boxes are long underlined text citations that are unnecessarily busy.
“News” links all take you out of the site without warning.

Brief Synopsis

The thumbnail overview includes "First Impressions", with annotated screenshots.

Overall Evaluation

(See below) In-depth assessment of the site's Presentation, Content and Functionality. With simple ratings so you'll know the score.

Site Features

Breakdown of the site content areas and functions; what they're made of, how well they work

Heuristics: Evaluation Checklist

This portion of the document gives us a sense of the general strengths and weaknesses of the site. Here's a brief overview of the some of the types of topics I look at - and how I describe them.


Navigation immediacy, obviousness, consistency

Design Theme continuity, attractiveness

Graphics appropriateness, speed of display

Additional topics: Layout, Clarity, Comprehension ...


Structure cohesion, fluidity

Context Sensitivity richness, validity

Depth volume, utility

Cross-referencing appropriateness

Additional topics: Flow, Relevance, Coherence ...


Site Map structure, completeness

Quick Tour validity, conciseness

Help clarity, completeness

Additional topics: Glossary, Contact Us, Shortcuts, Personalization, Printability ...


Goal-oriented Does it achieve intent?

Useful Is it worthwhile?

Impressive Is it memorable?

Additional topics: Enjoyable, Interesting, Attractive ...

At the end of the day we have a basis for discussing what needs to be done and how to go about doing it.

The next step might be a Content Inventory