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June 2009 update to the Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB) on usability, social media, web 2.0, usability testing, Drupal, Drupal prototype, web content management system

June 2009 update to the Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB) on usability, social media, web 2.0, usability testing, Drupal, Drupal prototype, web content management system



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  • Back in march, teams were getting ready to
  • Actual testing in lab was done late March/early April
  • If you want more info on this process of specifics, I have all of the testing materials and results
  • No way to sort, attempting to compensate with some keywords in the PDFs, but what we really need is some better way to organize the information Lrrb partner sites search broken – even so, there are three separate search fields that have to be accounted for
  • Inconsistency with this page, available tools, home page
  • Total cost of ownership, who does monthly maintenance, etc.

LRRB-web-update-2009-Jun-03-Jake LRRB-web-update-2009-Jun-03-Jake Presentation Transcript

  • Minnesota Local Road Research Board Website Update Jake Akervik Communication Coordinator Mn/DOT Research Services Wednesday, June 03, 2009
  • Topics covered in March
    • What is Usability?
    • LRRB Website Usability Testing Update
    • Social Media on Public Sector Websites
    • Current LRRB Website Updating Process
  • Topics for today
    • What is Usability?
    • LRRB Website Usability Testing Results
    • What is Web 2.0?
    • Future Options for LRRB Website
    • What is a Content Management System (CMS)?
    • Specific Example of a Web Content Management System – Drupal
  • What is Usability?
    • Usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces
    • are to use. The word "usability" also refers to methods for improving
    • ease-of-use during the design process.
    • Usability is defined by five quality components:
    • Learnability : How easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time they encounter the design?
    • Efficiency : Once users have learned the design, how quickly can they perform tasks?
    • Memorability : When users return to the design after a period of not using it, how easily can they reestablish proficiency?
    • Errors : How many errors do users make, how severe are these errors, and how easily can they recover from the errors?
    • Satisfaction : How pleasant is it to use the design?
    • Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox
  • Usability Testing
    • Conducted in spring semester of 2009 by University of Minnesota Web Usability class
    • Conducted at Usability Lab in Walter Library at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
    • Free of charge to Mn/DOT and LRRB
    • Two teams evaluated the LRRB website, and one team evaluated the Research Services website
  • Usability Testing Process
    • Discuss client needs
    • Analyze website
    • Identify and prioritize problems to address
    • Create test plan
    • Recruit (representative) volunteers
    • Conduct usability testing
    • Analyze results
    • Present findings
  • Testing Focus Areas
    • Search functionality
    • Site links and navigation
    • Aesthetics
    • Integration of Web 2.0 technology
  • Search Functionality Issues
    • “ Search this site”
      • “ Browse Research” example
    • “ Search LRRB Publications”
      • “ Technical Summary” example
      • Dash example
    • Search function does not search all relevant databases
      • “ LRRB Partner Sites Search” example
      • “ Mini Paver” example
  • Site Link and Navigation Issues
    • Left and Right Navigation bars
      • “How Can LRRB benefit me?” example
      • “Available Tools” example
    • Top Navigation Bar
      • “All top links” example
    • Headers and Links
      • “Available tools” vs. “How can LRRB benefit me?” example
  • Aesthetic Issues
    • People had trouble understanding if this was a public or private entity website
    • Add more consistency to styles
    • Reorganize navigation and structure
    • Minimize or update color scheme
    • Add more photos
  • Possible Solutions
    • Upgrade search functionality and database
    • Clarify site headers and links
    • Rethink and then redesign navigation
    • Clarify LRRB charter, purpose, partners, etc., on front page of website
    • Integration / addition of Web 2.0 technology
  • Web 2.0 Issues
    • What is Web 2.0?
    • …it’s an umbrella term to describe rapidly evolving tools and practices.
    • What is Social Media?
    • The use of digital technology, specifically the Web, to communicate…through words, images, and sounds.
    • John Wooden
    • Fredrickson Communications
  • Examples of Social Media and Web 2.0 Technologies
    • The “Conversation Prism”
    Brian Solis, PR 2.0
  • Web 2.0 Issues
    • One usability participant, a Mechanical Engineering student, liked the idea of a message board.
      • “ People could list concerns and questions to
      • answer each others’ issues since they are
      • often similar.”
    • One of the testing groups supported message boards as a logical way for the LRRB to productively step into online community building with Web 2.0
    • Add tagging to improve search functionality
  • Some Future Options for LRRB Website
    • Minor fixes to current website
      • Pros: Lower cost*
      • Cons: Puts off inevitable upgrades
    • Major upgrades to current website
      • Pros: Keeps familiar look and feel intact
      • Cons: Doesn’t solve problem of upkeep
    • Redesign website
      • Pros: Choice of current technology
      • Cons: Time and/or cost*
      • * depends on who does the work,
      • whether or not database needs to be rebuilt
  • What is a Content Management System (CMS)?
    • A content management system ( CMS ) such as a document management system (DMS) is a computer application used to manage work flow needed to collaboratively create, edit, review, index, search, publish and archive various kinds of digital media and electronic text.
  • What is a Web CMS?
    • A web content management system (WCMS or Web CMS) is content management system (CMS) software, usually implemented as a Web application, for creating and managing HTML content.
    • Unlike Web-site builders like Microsoft FrontPage or Adobe Dreamweaver, a WCMS allows non-technical users to make changes to an existing website with little or no training. A WCMS typically requires an experienced coder to set up and add features, but is primarily a Web-site maintenance tool for non-technical administrators.
  • What is Drupal?
    • Drupal is a free software package that
    • allows an individual or a community of users
    • to easily publish, manage and organize a
    • wide variety of content on a website. Tens of
    • thousands of people and organizations are
    • using Drupal to power scores of different
    • web sites…
  • Websites that use Drupal or other CMS
    • University of Minnesota uses Oracle CMS
    • State of Minnesota is moving to a CMS called Tridion
    • Popular Drupal websites include:
      • The Onion, Barack Obama, New York State Senate, NHL, United Nations, French Government, many Universities including Harvard and MIT…
  • Drupal Features Beneficial to LRRB
    • Open source, free to use
    • Award-winning
    • Supported by a large community of users and contributors
    • Modular
    • Upgradeable
    • Extensible
    • Controllable
  • Demonstration of Drupal Modules and Features
    • User Profiles
    • User Roles and User-Generated Content
    • Advanced Taxonomy / Search Functionality
    • e.g. “tagging”, “meta-tagging”, “metadata”
    • Message Boards and Comments
    • Other features, as time allows (News Feeds, URL aliases, Site Statistics, User Blogs…)
  • Your Logon
    • If you are on this list, you have a default profile
    • Usernames:
    • Mitch Anderson, Thomas Behm, Deb Bloom, Tom Colbert, Gary Danielson, Jim Grothaus, Bruce Hasbargen, Maureen Jensen, Robert Johns, Cory Johnson, Renae Kuehl, Richard Kjonaas, Steven Koehler, Michael Marti, Sandra McCully, Ann McLellan, Susan Miller, Clark Moe, Melvin Odens, Rich Sanders, Keith Shannon, Michael Sheehan, Julie Skallman, Linda Taylor, Nick Thompson, Richard West, Carole Wiese
    • Default password: mnlrrb-50
    • Questions?
    • Comments?
    • Need / want prototype website access?
    • [email_address]
    • 651-366-3738