University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Hello,
We are about to start a redesing of our corrent COE web site. I am in the process of setting up a usability lab to test our current site and obtain a baseline so we know where we need to go from here. My questions are:

- how have your own usability testing experiences been? are they worth the time and effort?
- what kinds of questions/tasks did you find to give you the most insight into issues your site may have had?
- what setup (hardware and software) did you use to complete the testing?
- what kind of compensation, if any, did you provide to your test subjects?
- how long did each test take?
- did the conclusions you found through this testing conflict with your pre-conceived ideas and notions of how your web site should have been organized, designed? How about your faculty or staff's?

any other feedback, suggestions, tips, or comments you may have will be greatly appreciated!

Thnak you!

Andres Leon

Views: 54

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hey Andres: We did some usability testing just before the launch of our redesigned website.
Happy to chat more if you want but long story short ... we wanted to concentrate on prospective students so we gave them and some parents $50 gift card to a mall for helping. We filmed the process.
Each person was given tasks (approx half hour) that we created for them to do and we sat with them and used a stop watch to see how long it took them and which path they took.
We then interviewed them for likes and dislikes.
Finally there was a survey to fill out which asked them to rate different things as well as circle words that they though fit the website and their feelings about the university.
Hope that helps Anika
Thank you for your feedback Anika. Did you find that the results you encountered helpful? how many suggestions and/or ideas from this study did you actually implement on your new site? Just wanted to know how useful, overall, this project was to you.

thanks again!

Andres
How have your own usability testing experiences been?

My experiences with usability testing have been great!

I always have one of those “head slappers” moments during a usability test. Those moments are when I’m surprised by an issue that shows up during a usability test where the problem and the solution are so obvious at that very moment.



Are they worth the time and effort?

I don’t spend more than thirty minutes with a usability tester. I usually will conduct the usability test, send the video screencast to all website content administrators who’s website was reviewed during the usability test, and have all this done in about an hour.

Just remember to keep your usability test simple, and do it often. Since I only take about an hour from the time the person walks in the room, to sending out the video to content administrators, it’s not much of a time investment to lose.

The information that I gather from the usability test is priceless.



What kinds of questions/tasks did you find to give you the most insight into issues your site may have had?

As a rule, you’ll always get more revealing results if you can find a way to observe users doing tasks that they have a hand in choosing. Let’s say the usability tester is a high school senior wanting to attend your university. It’s much better, for instance, to say “Work through the process online to apply for admissions” than to ask “Find out when the next senior citizen quilting classes are going to be held through Continuing Education.”

When people are doing made-up tasks, they have no emotional investment in it, and they can’t use as much of their personal knowledge.



What setup (hardware and software) did you use to complete the testing?

I set up a laptop in a conference room with a webcam and microphone. I use Camtasia to record a screencast with video.

I really like how Camtasia is able to easily handle a screencast with video. Using Camtasia it’s just three clicks to produce a screencast with video; start, stop, and upload.



What kind of compensation, if any, did you provide to your test subjects?

We provide a $20 gift certificate for users to a local restaurant as a thank you gift for time and effort devoted to the project.



How long did each test take?
The test takes 30 minutes, the entire process takes about an hour.



Did the conclusions you found through this testing conflict with your pre-conceived ideas and notions of how your web site should have been organized, designed? How about your faculty or staff's?

I make changes or make suggestions to content administrators accordingly based on the results of the usability test.

I do resist the impulse to add things on the website based on one person’s perspective during a usability test. When it’s obvious in usability testing that several users aren’t getting something, people’s first reaction is to add something, like an explanation or some instructions. Let’s face it, as internet users visiting websites, we simply don’t read explanations or instructions. For example, I never read instructions for an online form until I can’t submit the form.

What I like to do is ask myself, “What can I remove from this webpage or website that could be obscuring the meaning?” This is better than adding another distraction to the webpage.

I really like doing a video screencast. If gives you hard proof that something is confusing or not working on your website. If I record something that is not working and it’s a technical issue, our IT department can’t tell me “It’s not happening on my computer?” If someone is confused about content on a webpage, I can show content administrators the video screencast.

David White
Web and Communications Specialist
Amarillo College
Excellent points! Specially when you speak about trying to add explanations isntead of making the process simpler. Thank you very much!
Thank you! I originally started with the plan of testing about 10 to 15 people. Now i'm thinking more like 11. In any case, my breakdown is going about:
- 3 current students
- 3 future students
- 3 fac/staff
- 2 general public

will be testing our current site first to get a baseline. Then will ask, possibly, the same people to come back and test our final product. we'll be doing more internal tests as we develop prototypes too.

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Profile IconTracey Vellidis and Mikey Greenland joined University Web Developers
Jan 14
Sara Kisseberth posted a discussion

Archived magazine stories

Greetings,What are you all doing online with "old" magazine stories? Do you delete issues after so  many years? 5 years? 10? I'm torn between keeping all on for historical purposes or keeping just a few years online to simplify the site (ala Gerry McGovern.) Curious as to what you see best practices being.ThanksSara KisseberthBluffton Universitywww.bluffton.eduSee More
Jun 10, 2020
Erin Jorgensen posted a discussion

HighEdWeb 2020 Accessibility Summit

The HighEdWeb 2020 Accessibility Summit is a one-day, online conference about digital accessibility in higher education happening June 25, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT.Join in to learn best practices, share stories and connect with your higher ed peers on topics including social media accessibility, web development, user experience and more. Sessions are designed to boost knowledge at every level, from accessibility beginners to technical experts. Conference registration is $25, with…See More
May 29, 2020
Erin Jorgensen is now a member of University Web Developers
May 29, 2020
Christine Boehler posted a discussion

HighEdWeb 2020 Annual Conference - ONLINE

October 19-20, 2020https://2020.highedweb.org/#HEWeb20     Join us ONLINE for HighEdWeb 2020, the conference created by and for higher education professionals across all departments and divisions. Together we explore and find solutions for the unique issues facing digital teams at colleges and universities. In 2020, the Conference will be held completely online, offering multiple tracks of streamed presentations, live…See More
May 3, 2020
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Throughout April, we're hosting webcasts exploring how colleges and universities across North America are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Register for the series today! https://bit.ly/2xsXhK9"
Apr 13, 2020
Christelle Lachapelle is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 6, 2020
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Download our latest white paper to learn how the demographics of today’s higher ed learners are shifting, and how schools can adapt to meet the needs of these new learners. https://bit.ly/2wTKdgB"
Mar 31, 2020
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join our next webcast with Amrit Ahluwalia from The EvoLLLution to learn about the new "modern learner" in higher education. https://bit.ly/2UuDh2I"
Mar 30, 2020
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"As we ride out the latest developments and impact of the coronavirus, there's no better time than now to learn the three Bs of crisis planning. http://bit.ly/2ITVkc2"
Mar 16, 2020
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Is your college or university prepared to meet the challenges that come with disasters and emergencies like the coronavirus? Learn how your CMS can help. http://bit.ly/2TUZUM8"
Mar 12, 2020
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Can’t afford the time and money to launch a comprehensive guided pathways model? Register for our FREE webcast to learn tricks for simulating a digital guided pathways experience."
Feb 21, 2020
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"With college enrollment decreasing for the 8th year in a row, boosting your college or university marketing efforts is more important than ever. Here's how to get started. http://bit.ly/2vTQAzz"
Feb 20, 2020
Christine Boehler posted a discussion

HighEdWeb 2020 Annual Conference

October 18-21, 2020 in Little Rock, Arkansas, USAhttps://2020.highedweb.org/#HEWeb20     Join us for HighEdWeb 2020, the conference created by and for higher education professionals across all departments and divisions. Together we explore and find solutions for the unique issues facing digital teams at colleges and universities. With 100+ diverse sessions, an outstanding keynote presentation, intensive workshops, and engaging networking events,…See More
Feb 19, 2020
Christine Boehler posted a discussion

HighEdWeb 2020 Call for Proposals is Open!

The 2020 Annual Conference of the Higher Education Web Professionals Association (HighEdWeb) will travel to Little Rock, Arkansas, this October 18-21 — and the call for proposals is now open! As a digital professional in higher education, we know you have great ideas and experiences to share. From developers, marketers and programmers to managers, designers, writers and all team members in-between, HighEdWeb provides valuable professional development for all who want to explore the unique…See More
Feb 14, 2020
Christine Boehler shared Sara Clark's discussion on Facebook
Feb 14, 2020
Christine Boehler is now a member of University Web Developers
Feb 14, 2020
Brian Bell joined Kevin Daum's group
Feb 14, 2020
Brian Bell joined Mark Greenfield's group
Feb 14, 2020
Kenneth George is now a member of University Web Developers
Feb 13, 2020

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2021   Created by Mark Greenfield.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service