Note: this usability review as done as part of my graduate coursework at Kent State University.
Usability Review of My.Go2Net.com
There is bound to be argument over what the primary, or first rule of usability is. But before any other rules or guidelines, a site must first satisfy the “zeroith” rule of usability: users must be able to get to the site. Go2Net fails this test because my.go2net.com is completely unavailable (Go2Net, 1). This is a problem first because competing sites already follow the my.[sitename].com URL convention (Welcome, 1). Worse, at one point my.go2net.com was a valid domain and had some amount of user recognition (Nasser, 1). This is especially bad for prospective portal sites, where the intention is that users will use the site as a launching point for the rest of the web. Anyone that had set their homepage to my.go2net.com has had to either update their homepage setting in their browser or pick a different site altogether. Portals need to seem stable and established–making major changes to a site’s navigation might counter that impression, but changing domain names around is even worse. Also, many users will only find Go2Net through links on other sites and pages. Although a Google search of sites linking to my.go2net.com comes up empty today (link:my.go2net.com, 1), Go2Net may have lost out on traffic from older links that have since been removed.
Additional usability rules are easy to find, but there is no authoritative list. This paper will consider four guidelines from the textbook (Dumas, 56) and five from a popular usability site (Nielsen, 1).