Not to try and steal David's thunder for first sending out the link through email, but I thought I would start a thread here for folks to post tests. We tend to be a helpful bunch of folks so I figured it would be a great way to get some good feedback. Based on the article at http://www.uie.com/articles/five_second_test/
In addition to sharing your test, I would love to see people post their findings. (take advantage of the threaded discussion to make it easy to match the test with the results.) It will be a great learning experience to see the results.
I have used a paper version of this test in the past. I have found it works best with pages that have a distinct primary purpose.
I have also used it on home pages when I want to get an idea of what people remember about the page. I like the way the automated test is worded because it asks you what page elements you remember. I think this would be useful for some home pages, especially for the homepages of smaller sub-sites. Do they remember what you want them to remember. As the UIE article mentions, users make important judgments in the first moments they visit a page.
Your thoughts? (I've had some lively debates with my usability friends on the appropriateness of this test beyond content pages)
I agree that it can give some insight on home pages: it basically tells you what's most eye-catching. But, as the UIE article infers, it's definitely more telling on content pages.
When you can clearly answer "what's the point to this page?" and not come up with "it's a gateway," then the 5-second test is much more helpful. (Much like, I might add, the usual "who is your audience?" question: if you can define that for your page and not get a long list, even better.)
That said, I think there are more useful questions you could ask with a five-second test on a homepage than "what do you remember?"
If you set it up with "what would you be interested in clicking on?" you could get some interesting insights into different constituencies, as well as the terminology you use on that page.
As I read the results coming in, it's interesting to see that not everyone is answering the question "what do you remember?" I'm getting web page critiques as well.
For example, "white space needed" and "content area needs depth" both came in the same review. Certainly good information, but doesn't fit the purpose of this particular test. If such issues with the page caused the visitor to not remember any elements on the page, then a more appropriate response would be "nothing".
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Cody Bryant is now a member of University Web Developers