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My question is very simple: what questions should I ask to the stakeholders before conducting a usability review?

Additionally, how do you usually deliver your recommendations once the study is done?

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I am assuming you are doing an usability review of a website or desktop application. These are the questions I would ask

  1. What is your business
  2. What do you hope to achieve through this site.
  3. Can you list the top three things you wish to achieve through this site
  4. Who are your users
  5. What do your users do on this site
  6. Are there any specific issues your users have reported on this site
  7. Do you have any analytical information I can look at which would give me inputs into user behavior on the site
  8. What content has to be surfaced on your primary pages
  9. what are the most visited pages on the site
  10. Are you aware of any specific pages where users drop off (this is specifically significant while dealing with e-commerce sites)
  11. Are there any specific things I should know about your users (in case the users have a disability or require special help in getting something then- in that case I would check for accessibility

With regards to delivery of the usablity analysis, it depends on my target audience. I usually break it down into technical or non technical stakeholders

Non Technical stakeholders

  • Power point presentation with screenshots of the page with call outs to highlight usability issues
  • Highlights of potential issues that might arise due to those usability issues such as reduced conversion
  • Recommendations to improve the usability problems in a bullet ed form without going into details
  • High level details of any accessibility issues found

Technical stakeholders

  • Power point presentation or word document with screenshots of the page with call outs to highlight usability issues
  • Highlights of potential issues that might arise due to those usability issues such as reduced conversion
  • Recommendations to improve the usability problems in a bullet with additional inputs on design and programming practices which could be used to fix the issue.
  • High level details of accessibility issues with reference to best practices in coding as per W3C guidelines
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  • Mark it as the correct answer if it serves your purpose
    – Mervin
    Feb 15 '13 at 16:45

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