Chalkmark checks out most clickable websites

Kiwi company Optimal Usability delivers online tool for web designers

Wellington internet consultancy Optimal Usability launched its second product last week — an online tool that provides quick feedback on the usability of websites and design prototypes.

Called Chalkmark, the online tool is designed for user-testing. Companies which offer an electronic interface can test anything from a paper sketch to a prototype of a user interface, says Optimal Usability director Sam Ng. Results are also delivered quickly — in hours not weeks.

Basically, Chalkmark quickly and cost-effectively finds out if users are clicking where a company wants them to click, says Ng.

To set up a test, the company loads an image of the user interface it wants tested and assigns a number of tasks that it wants users to attempt, he says.

The test can be sent around like an online survey. All that’s necessary is to send an email with a link to the test, and users then complete the test online.

Results can be viewed immediately, says Ng. Heatmaps show where survey participants clicked for each task, which means companies can quickly learn which parts of the website work well and which parts are confusing.

The tool is useful for proving or disproving a theory and for making good design decisions, based on real data. It is also useful for making comparisons with rival businesses, says Ng.

Optimal Usability has provided consultancy services for six years.

Last year it launched its first software product, an online card-sorting system called OptimalSort.

Today, over 2,500 customers in 125 countries use OptimalSort, says Ng.

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