I've been pondering a lot recently about my procedure. It is unusual that people really sit down and try to map out that which we know, although experience is a potent factor.
Though it is portion of one of my choices that were paid, I Have decided to share this checklist. A couple of disclaimers: First, I don't claim this listing is comprehensive or special. Jakob Nielsen has a great 113-level checklist in his book, Homepage Usability, for example. That is my way of organizing what I feel is important while trying to keep it manageable. Second, my usage of phrases may differ from yours. I use "usability" in an extremely broad sense, and my use of "accessibility" isn't very industry-standard. Don't like it? Write your own checklist ;) Lastly, an advance warning this post is fairly long.
The list is split into 4 roughly equal sections, (I) Accessibility, (II) Identity, (III) Navigation, and (IV) Content. I'll rationalize and describe all the sections and line items under, but you can obtain the checklist as a basic, 1-page PDF.
I try to keep it easy with 3 fundamental ratings: (1) Green Check Always = Great/Pass, (2) Red Check Always = Wants function, but no disaster, (3) Red X = Bad/Fail. Not allpoints are necessarily applicable to all or any sites.
Number of Buttons/Links Is Reasonable
Critical Content Is Above The Fold
The "fold" is that imaginary line where the bottom of your screen cuts off a page. Content can drop below the fold, but something crucial to understanding who you are or that which you do (particularly on the home page) should suit on that first screen. Screen-resolution that is average these days is about 1024x768, depending on your audience.
Home-page Is Digestible In 5 Seconds
In usability, we usually talk regarding the 5-second rule. There is some disagreement over exactly exactly how many seconds you get, but website visitors really are a fickle bunch, and they need to get the fundamental gist of your home page in just several moments.
URLs Are Meaningful & Person-friendly
This really is a point-of some debate, but significant key-word-based URLs are usually excellent for both search engines and visitors. You don't have to re-engineer a whole website just to get new URLs, but do what you can to make them descriptive and helpful.
The Purpose Clear of tagline Makes Company's
Answer "What would you do?" concisely using a descriptive tagline. Avoid marketing jargon and boil your special worth proposition down to a couple of words. This is also a plus for Search Engine Optimization.
Main Copy Is Concise & Explanatory
This isn't a lesson in copywriting, but look a-T your home-page - can you say the sam-e point by 50 percent as many phrases? Try to be concrete and descriptive and avoid jargon - nobody cares if you can "leverage your synergies".
Ads & pop ups Are Unobtrusive
Ads are a reality of life, but integrate them nicely into your website. Do not decide to try to force adverts and popups down peoples' throats. Also, do individuals a favor and make your ads clear. In case you blur the line between adverts and content also much, your content may experience.