- Usability Test for ICC website
Contribution to the ICC officeTools: Paper, White board, Debut Video Capture
- BackgroundICC stands for Inter Cooperative Council. It is a non-profit organization which is dedicated to provide affordable houses for student in Ann Arbor area.Their website was launched in 2003 and are under redesign right now. They lack the data from the user side. They never do user research before. I live at the house run by ICC, and I offered to help. The member service director was interested in doing a usability test. That's how we started.
During the 2 months, we created project plan, made interactive map, recruited users designed tasks, conducted test, analyzed the data we collected and generated findings and recommendations. we expect the study throw some light on how users would naturally interact with the website when seeking information. Which page do they start? Which links do the prefer to click? Whether they use outside resources? How much do they learn about ICC after the study? Hopefully the findings/recommendations can assist the web team to do the redesign work.
It turned out to be a very successful experience. My supervisor was very satisfied with my work and even asked to present the findings and recommendations in front of the board of directors. I felt more confident in doing usability test alone after this project. They also asked me to do more rounds of usability tests for their website. That's why I continued to work at ICC even after I graduated. I applied what I learned from school into practice and contributed to the ICC community with my own way. Most importantly, my efforts were valued and appreciated by others, which makes me feel very proud.
- Create Project PlanI met with the director of member services of ICC office and he was attracted by this plan. Besides the website administrator also showed interests. So we met for several times and I created a project plan for them.
- Create Scenarios and Questions for the testsI discussed with the director and the web administrator about scenarios and questions that are used in the tests.
- Methods and ToolsWe used "Debut Video Capture Software" as our recording tool. This free software can be used to capture the cursor movements, highlight the clicking action and record audio as well.We asked our evaluators to "think aloud" which means they spoke out aloud what they were doing when they chose certain actions. For example, they might say "I click the button because I though it will lead me to the XXX page."While the evaluators were conducting the tasks we had assigned to them, I took notes besides them, moderating when necessary. For eg., when they got stuck at some point for too long, I encouraged them to move along instead of wasting time there.We then analyzed the notes and compared them across all 5 test takers, trying to generate some worth-noting findings and recommendations.
- AnalysisWe analyzed the data collected from the test session and made several tables to show the results. Those tables recorded demographic data, task completion rates, user error rates (with severity rating) of different tasks, etc.
- Findings& RecommendationsCombining our observations and data from the video and our notes, we have generated several findings and corresponding recommendations:1.Color scheme is too dull, which will render users a feeling of "cheap" and "dirty".Add brightness to the whole color scheme.2. Some wordings are confusing, like "amenities charts", especially for international studentsChange vocabulary to more frequently used words.3. Map is not well designed and functioned flawedlyIntegrate with Google Maps, providing a link to Google Maps4. The left navigation bar is not consistent with people's mental modelRemove irrelevant navigation items from the current section.