top of page


Finding usability issues using Nielson's heurisitcs

For the Goodreads website, my focus was on understanding the visual and structural elements, its consistency, and the ease of navigation of the website. For these reasons, I thought Nielson’s heuristics would be more appropriate to find out the usability issues, as it includes checkpoints such as aesthetic and minimalist design, consistency, and standards.

Top 3 Issues found (Prioritized based on severity, impact and ease of implimentation)

Lack of feedback

Heuristic - Visibility of System Status


I noticed the lack of feedback throughout the website for multiple activities.

Absense of breadcrumbs

Heuristic - Visibility of System Status


The website doesn’t show breadcrumbs, which makes it difficult for users to know about the navigation path and their location on the website.

Lack of consistent naming

Heuristic - Consistency and Standards


There is a mismatch between the names used in the website throughout.



Finding usability issues through moderated usability testing

I performed remote moderated usability testing with 6 users, including one pilot study to understand the actual user interactions with the website, comprehensive context, motives behind specific actions, and real usability issues. All of them varied in their familiarity with the interface.

Top 3 usability issues found (Prioritized based on majority of users struggling)

Confusion between shelves and saved books

A few participants found that the “want to read” button was a little confusing because it doesn’t clearly communicate that it’s going to add a book to a shelf. They would rather prefer having a button called “add to shelf”.

Indistinguishable buttons and links

When I asked participants to shift the book to a new shelf, most of them couldn’t notice the “edit” button given in the book row. The primary actions are written in very small fonts and displayed as hyperlinks rather than buttons, which makes them hard to notice.

Unclear search

There is no way to search for an author directly. The main search bar says “search books”, which made participants confused if they could search for authors through that search bar.



Finding accessibility issues through both manual test and automated tools

I evaluated the home and book pages of Goodreads in terms of accessibility separately. I used both manual inspection using WCAG 2.1 guidelines and the automated accessibility checker "WAVE" to find all existing accessibility issues.

Top 3 accessibility issues (Prioritized based on conformance level and impact)

Lack of "Skip to main content" links
Bypass Blocks [2.4.1 (A)]

During manual accessibility testing, I found that most of the pages on the website don’t have a “skip to main content” link, which violates 2.4.1.

Insufficient contrast ratio
Contrast Ratio (Minimum) [1.4.3 (AA)]

During both manual and automated accessibility testing, I found that the contrast ratio of “customize” option is lesser than required ratio 4.5:1.

Repetition of link context through headings and ALT text
Non-text content [1.1.1 (A)]

During automated accessibility testing, I found that the ALT text used for images is the same as their headings. This results in screen readers reading the same link text twice. the ALT text for the image should be changed to “” (empty quotes)  to define it as decorative as the heading would be enough to give the context about the book.

bottom of page