Check Your Site Usability With These Fun Tools

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Usability (as well as accessibility) is a too broad topic to be discussed in one post of course. Besides, I am no professional web designer or usability professional to offer any expert advice on that. Still I’ve come across a couple of fun and useful tools that should be shared at SEJ:

1. Five Second Test – run a quick free page usability poll:

  • make a screenshot of a web page you want to test;
  • upload it to Five Second Test site and grab the link of your test;
  • spread the link (via social media, for example): people will be offered to look at your screenshot for 5 seconds and then write down 5 things they managed to remember;
  • receive service email messages with the people’s answers;
  • collect the messages and then organize the data to define most outstanding (easier to remember) elements of the web page.

Five Second Usability Test

2. Feng-Gui shows you the heat map of any image you submit. I am not sure as to how reliable the results are (as I never ran any “real” eye-tracking heatmap checks with my blog) but according to their FAQ:

Feng-GUI creates heatmaps based on an algorithm that predicts what a real human would be most likely to look at.

This algorithm is based on:

  • color;
  • orientation;
  • density, contrast;
  • intensity;
  • size;
  • closure;
  • curve.

Heatmap tool

3. Usability checklist – just print it out and check the “rating” boxes where you can (or create your own scoring system if you like).

And of course be sure to check regularly the best Usability and Accessibility forum I am aware of!

Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project,
Ann Smarty
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  • David

    Thanks for turning me on to this, Ann.

    This could be a great way for me to show our clients (or our designers sometimes) how the message can get lost in the clutter.

    I’ve bookmarked it- I hope others really start to use this too.

  • Ben McKay

    Just done a few 5 second tests – very very addictive. Going to set a few of my sites up on it. A web developer that I work with loves usability so going to pass it his way too – cheers for the heads-up on that one Ann!


  • Charlie Ellis

    Feng-GUI just made my day. That’s awesome. Thanks for the tip! Sending this post to my colleagues.

  • Matt Webb

    Very interesting selection of tools. Don’t forget the other side of usability; accessibility for elderly and disabled.

  • Kim Krause Berg

    Ah! My favorite topic πŸ™‚ Thanks for mentioning Cre8asiteforums Usability and Accessibility forum. Much appreciated.

    For those looking for real usability help, look for task analysis and conversions testing. As Ann says, usability is too large a topic for one quicky post. It goes way beyond having a pretty UI. Even non-pretty sites do well when the lead tasks are clear and easy to follow.

  • David Martin

    i spent more than five minutes πŸ™‚

    Another usability check list can be founded here:

  • Nicole

    Cool! What a good idea.

  • Ben McKay

    @Charlie, it would be good to see reliability studies on Feng Gui though.

  • Pavan Kumar

    Wow! Nice things… Thank you πŸ™‚

  • Barry Welford

    Great post, Ann. I hadn’t seen that FiveSecond test before. Very intriguing. It’s particularly appropriate since Michael Gladwell, author of Blink, is just launching another book, Outliers: The Story of Success.

  • Stephen Vardy

    Google “Crazy egg”

    This for me has been the ultimate tool for understanding what visitors are doing on your site.
    I have done total site redesigns based on the very intuitive patterns that this technology displays.
    Well worth a a 2 or 3 month sub.


  • SeeMySpots

    Great tips, Ann – thanks!

    Google Analytics has a site overlay feature which allows your site to be pulled up (obviously only if GA is installed) with percentage and actual clicks for different buttons across site.

    This feature does illustrate what areas or products are more popular on site in reference to total clicks.

  • mcraan

    Great post.


  • seoexperts

    Very interesting selection of tools. I have done total site redesigns based on the very intuitive patterns that this technology displays.

  • Sanjay Varma

    Thanks for these tips, Ann!

  • PPC Blog

    Great selection of tools especially the 5 second test! I would also add Crazy egg for heatmaps!!

  • Gidseo

    Crazy egg for heatmaps… it’s a great idea but we found it slowed the load times down too much so we pulled it.
    Anybody have similar experience or found a work around/alternative?

  • PPC Blog

    Yes thats true I had the same problem with crazyegg for sometime. A similar tool is

  • Gidseo

    Thanks PPC Blog – I’ll check it out.

  • Christina

    This is great! I was astonished by the Five Second Test and the Feng-Gui, have to try it. I also know a few people who will be glad to use these fun tools. I’ll have to notify them too. Nice one. Hope there’s more. ^_^

  • Hiten Shah

    Gidseo & PPC Blog,

    We are constantly working on improving the load time of our CrazyEgg JavaScript. Improvements plus additional features will be coming in the New Year.

    Also, Five Second Test is awesome, we have been using it for a few months now, and can’t live without it now.


  • Gidseo

    Sounds good – another reason to look forward to the New Year…

  • PPC Blog

    Thats awesome Hiten, its good to know that you guys are working on this. I have suggested Crazyegg to all my clients and they all used it for the PPC landing pages. Its a great tool.

  • tati79

    thanks this test no bad tool!

  • Jezza Lenko

    Another one to add to your list is Loop11 (

  • TechView

    Nice little things to use. Thanks for sharing.
    Will use Five Second Test definitely.

    BTW, as Jezza Lenko said, LOOP11 is a good catch also.