Drupal UB Usability Testing
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Drupal UB Usability Testing

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Drupal UB Usability Testing Drupal UB Usability Testing Presentation Transcript

  • usability testing of the Drupal administrative interface University of Baltimore May 2008
  • we are : graduate students in the Interaction Design and Information Architecture program at the University of Baltimore and we : performed the second round of testing of the Drupal administrative interface testing took place at UB’s User Research Lab
  • who’d we bring in? career or hobbyist web developers experienced in various content management systems (RedDot, SiteExecutive, WordPress, Joomla and others) but with no Drupal experience
  • and we asked them to get a website started for a small non-profit by: creating content creating navigation (i.e., primary links) and setting up a user account for board members
  • we used a pre- and post-test questionnaire to get participant opinions before and after using Drupal, collected gaze data with the Tobii eyetracker, and asked lots of questions
  • afterwards we analyzed the tapes for usability patterns across participants
  • so, why go through the trouble?
  • the Drupal mission statement: By building on relevant standards and open source technologies, Drupal supports and enhances the potential of the Internet as a medium where diverse and geographically-separated individuals and groups can collectively produce, discuss, and share information and ideas . With a central interest in and focus on communities and collaboration, Drupal's flexibility allows the collaborative production of online information systems and communities .
  • who are these people, and does playing with Drupal encourage them to become a Drupal user? diverse and geographically-separated individuals and groups can collectively produce, discuss, and share information and ideas
  • who wants to read a manual? “ I’m not sure what nodes are at this point because I didn’t read the manual, obviously, as I never do, I just install it out of the box and pretend that everything is going to be fine.” - - Participant 1
  • no one. people want to produce, discuss, and share information and ideas
  • and Drupal has user experience goals to try and achieve this developers: well-tooled with a system of hooks that provide ready means to accomplish most foreseeable coding aims that involve interaction with core elements administrators: easy to install and set up so that there is a minimum requirement for specific technical expertise, intuitive and self-explanatory so that administrators can easily find the configuration options they need and highly configurable so that site administrators can present just the interface they wish users: intuitive and self-explanatory so that users with minimal prior experience can easily discover, navigate, and use functionality, uncluttered so that users are not faced with a difficult task of sorting the essential from the non-essential
  • Drupal enables people around the globe to create powerful websites
  • and has some successes in the admin interface, like: participants liked the welcome page (despite some inconsistencies between the contextual links and the admin menu) and all easily located and used the Create content link
  • but we did find some problems
  • everyone expected a WYSIWYG and searched for formatting options
  • (modules were not considered by any participants)
  • participants didn’t get page and story, and spent a lot of time thinking about it
  • the parent item was not what they expected
  • and more, such as:
    • confusion over the term primary link,
    • locating content after creating it,
    • finding the link they need on the Administer page, and
    • not noticing Garland default theme primary links most often until they moved on to the next task
  • to meet Drupal user experience goals, creative solutions to these problems must be found
  • but wait… overall, the major challenge for all participants was that they didn't get that the administrative menu overlays the website itself – leading to questions like:
  • where's my home page?
  • how do I preview pages?
  • … and see the structure of the site?
  • how do I see the difference between the CMS and the website I'm making?
  • this misunderstanding was the root of a lot of the problems, confusion and frustration “ Nope, can't do it.” P3 “ I have no hope that I am anywhere close.” P3 “ I don't understand what this does at all...” P1 “ Huh. That's crazy.” P2
  • 3 of our suggestions:
    • find ways in which to visually distinguish the administrative menu and pages, and incorporate the style into the default Drupal theme
    • surface more of the content hidden under drop-downs within node forms and in the primary navigation menu (for example, add a “manage content” link)
    • use more consistent, intuitive labeling for basic tasks
  • Becca Scollan, Abby Byrnes, Malia Nagle, Paul Coyle, Cynthia York, Maleka Ingram   Interaction Design & Information Architecture, University of Baltimore May, 2008