Website usability and design testing can be an expensive business. Many small and medium web projects can’t justify the costs of commissioning professional usability testing. Either the project budget is too small or testing would adversely affect the completion date. If you’re involved in a small scale project which can’t afford full usability/design testing then the lead designer and project manager will usually stick to industry best practice for U.I. elements and overall design.

Designers, clients and project managers rarely disagree on core design/usability issues, where you place a navigation bar or call to action are easily resolved. However, disagreements over color, photos and fonts are common place. Typically these types of disagreements can be settled by testing, but if you don’t have the budget – what can you do?

 

Until now – not much! Thankfully Usabilityhub.com identified this problem and produced a set of tools which allow you to quickly test design and UI parameters for little or no cost. You can learn how visitors interact with your design before launching. Find out what they think, what they remember, and where they make mistakes.

Test out mock ups/designs using a secret URL which you can share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and email. Use the power of social media to get test results for free. You can also order responses from the UsabilityHub community at the cost of 1 credit each. Responses from testers of specific demographics (country, age range, gender) cost 3 credits each. You can invite as many of your own testers as you like for free. Fifty credits can be purchased for $45 and one thousand credits will cost you $500. However, you can earn karma credits by completing other people’s tests!

If you’d like to check out this fast and free method of testing click the link below.

Test your designs and mockups on real people…

Mobiomic.com are specialists in the creation of a mobile friendly websites. Whether you already have an existing website and online strategy or if you are even taking your first steps online, Mobiomic can advise and realise the best route for your brand.

Already Mobiomic have helped us create iPhone friendly versions of our most popular portals. Check out www.metazone.co.uk from your phone or iPad to see what Mobiomic can do. The Mobiomic.com site is also full of great design features when visited via a mobile device ~ twist your iPhone for some cool effects.

If you’re looking for experts in the field of mobile web creation and design give Mobiomic.com a shout today.

We are currently working on the redesign of our first website The Game Hunter. The first phase of the redesign is creating a new ‘Game Hunter’ cartoon. The website has always featured the character Cornelius, he gives visitors the low down on the best places to play online casino and poker games.

As you can see the new Game Hunter is based on a series of sketches I made over the last few weeks. I’m very happy with the final result which was traced from the original sketches with Adobe Fireworks vector tools. I was never completely happy with the old cartoon but never had enough free time to revisit the design.

A new Cornelius is just the first phase of a massive overhaul for www.TheGameHunter.co.uk, in the next few weeks the site will begin to migrate to the new template and format. The original concept of The Game Hunter will remain, but expect to see plenty of web 2.0 elements creeping into the next few weeks.

It’s been a long time coming but finally we have new business cards, designed by Crewe based company TDB the cards are transparent and feature the Eddison Media light bulb logo and the usual information. We love the cards and can wholeheartedly recommend TDB if you’re looking for unique business cards, designs and print services.

If you’re looking for inspirational ideas for your business cards then check out 100 really creative business cards at www.webdesignerdepot.com. I was please to see it featured a couple of transparent cards, phew! at last we’re cool.

There are thousands of free WordPress theme available on the web, Eddison-Media.com uses one from ‘Smashing Magazine‘ but what if you can’t find a theme to suit your site? Well then you have to get your hands dirty and build your own.

It might sound pretty daunting to someone who’s unfamiliar with core files of WordPress, because it was to me! Luckily I came across a handy piece of software that takes the hassle out of building WordPress themes. Artisteer is the first and only Web design automation product that instantly creates fantastic looking, unique WordPress™ Themes. I can testify that it works and works well, professional WordPress designers will probably think that it sucks! but for those like me who just want to build a custom WordPress theme quickly then it’s a god send.

I’ve already built two ‘Horse Racing’ themes using Artisteer, you can view them and download them for free from www.grand-national2011.co.uk.

One of our newest websites (www.retrofootieshirts.co.uk) has just been updated with new club shirts and we’ve applied some backend  tweaks to help visitors find the shirts more easily. Since launching we have been amazed by the level of actively the site enjoys, visitors are buying shirts everyday from our featured merchants (Toffs, Kitbag & Subside Sports) we hoped the site would do well but never expected the traffic levels and conversions to be this high this quickly.