Another checklist-based evaluation approach can be easier to use but still provide much of the benefit. This approach is negative - with a checklist which lists things your site shouldn't be doing, not things your site should - and can be particularly useful because so many sites make basic mistakes. Lists of basic mistakes are available on the Web.
If you don't have much time to spend evaluating a site, this is probably the most beneficial approach.
Obtaining a checklist
Various sites on the Web include lists of "top ten Web mistakes", both from a technical and usability perspective.
I feel that this list from the infamous Jakob Nielsen is a fairly useful one. (Link will open in new browser window so you can view the list while reading.)
Using the checklist
The list can be used in the same way as before. Again, it's better if you get other people to evaluate your site.
Drawbacks to this approach
There are a few problems with this approach:
- it tries to answer the question "is this a bad website" rather than "is this a good website"
- you may make mistakes that are not among the most common and are therefore missed
Overall, though, this kind of list can be very useful and it's relatively easy to go through. Many of the problems are practical and solutions can be directly implemented.