These Kids Today: Usability Testing with Current and Prospective Students

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Presentation for the Penn State Web Conference on June 11, 2012.

Presentation for the Penn State Web Conference on June 11, 2012.

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  • BEFORE MOVING ON TO NEXT SLIDE: So what HAVEN’T I done, if I want to be a true disciple of Steve Krug, what haven’t I done since making these changes that I should do? BOOK GIVEAWAY! Two things: repeat tests again (iterative) and test against mobile (responsive)\n
  • BEFORE MOVING ON TO NEXT SLIDE: So what HAVEN’T I done, if I want to be a true disciple of Steve Krug, what haven’t I done since making these changes that I should do? BOOK GIVEAWAY! Two things: repeat tests again (iterative) and test against mobile (responsive)\n
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Transcript

  • 1. THESE KIDS TODAYUsability Testing with Current and Prospective Students Lori Packer Penn State Web June 2012
  • 2. WRITING DOWNEVERYTHING I SAY? STOP! http://gim.ie/L6jV
  • 3. Let me tellyou a story... ...about wine.
  • 4. Let’s play“Find the wine” MSN circa 1998
  • 5. USABILITY TESTING “Evil Empire” $tyle
  • 6. USABILITY TESTING “Evil Empire” $tyle Two-way mirrored glass Eye-tracking camerasMultiple monitors Representative audience samples Report = Statistical analysis
  • 7. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY
  • 8. KEEP IT SIMPLE Steve Krug provides a“common man” approach to Web usability testing.
  • 9. KEEP IT SIMPLE Steve Krug provides a“common man” approach to Web usability testing.
  • 10. USABILITY TESTING“Don’t Make Me Think” style
  • 11. USABILITY TESTING “Don’t Make Me Think” style Your office, your computer, and a microphone Free screen-capture softwareWhoever you can get ahold of Donuts and iTunes gift cards for participants Report = three paragraph email
  • 12. USABILITY TESTING “Evil Empire” $tyle Two-way mirrored glass Eye-tracking camerasMultiple monitors Representative audience samples Report = Statistical analysis
  • 13. USABILITY TESTING “Evil Empire” $tyle Two-way mirrored glass Eye-tracking camerasMultiple monitors Representative audience samples Report = Statistical analysis
  • 14. WHAT IS USABILITY TESTING?The act of observing a real human being attemptto use something for its intended purpose.
  • 15. WHAT IS USABILITY TESTING?The act of observing a real human being attemptto use something for its intended purpose. Can apply to coffee makers or websites.
  • 16. WHAT IS USABILITY TESTING?The act of observing a real human being attemptto use something for its intended purpose. Can apply to coffee makers or websites. “It only takes five users to uncover 80 percent of high-level usability problems.” -- Jakob Nielsen
  • 17. WHAT ISN’T USABILITY TESTING? A usability test in NOT a focus group. You are not asking people what they LIKE or WANT. You are observing what they can DO and how you can IMPROVE how they do it.
  • 18. WHAT ISN’T USABILITY TESTING? A usability test in NOT a focus group. “How would you describe this shade of blue? Sophisticated? Somber? Peppy?” You are not asking people what they LIKE or WANT. You are observing what they can DO and how you can IMPROVE how they do it.
  • 19. WHAT ISN’T USABILITY TESTING? A usability test in NOT a focus group. “How would you describe this shade of blue? Sophisticated? Somber? Peppy?” NO. You are not asking people what they LIKE or WANT. You are observing what they can DO and how you can IMPROVE how they do it.
  • 20. SO HOW DO WE DO THIS THING?
  • 21. HOW DO I DO IT?• At least once a year, conduct test of homepage, second-level pages• Recruit 3-5 volunteers from each audience group: new students, prospective students, parents• Bring them to my office, with a computer set up with microphone, screen capture• Ask them to “think aloud” while using the site as they normally would first, then through a series of tasks• Each session takes 30-40 mins• Report results to Web team
  • 22. RECRUIT PARTICIPANTS• 3-5 people from each group• Forparents and new students: walk around with a clipboard during orientation expo• For current students: listing in weekly e-newsletter• For prospective students: listing in faculty/staff e-newsletter for high-school age kids
  • 23. WHY NEW STUDENTS?Do usability testsduring the firsttwo days oncampus.Students learn the“lingo” so fast --Registrar, LAS, ITSCenter.What do they dobefore they knowwhat they’re doing?
  • 24. SET UP “USABILITY LAB”
  • 25. SET UP “USABILITY LAB”
  • 26. SET UP “USABILITY LAB”Screen recording software • CamStudio: free, records to .AVI format only • Debut Video Capture: $39.95, records to multiple formats • Camtasia: $299, speech-to-text transcriptions • Morae: $1,495, statistics, picture-in-pictureMicrophone • Cheap USB microphone: $25Other observers • Invite other members of team to session • For large teams, use Skpe or GoToMeeting to share screen to a conference room
  • 27. STICK TO THE SCRIPTHello, _________,My name is Lori and I’ll be conducting this session with youtoday testing the University homepage...... I want to make clear right away that we are testing the site,not you ...... As we go along, I am going to ask you to think out loud:basically say whatever it is that is going through your mind asyou use the site ...... I’m using screen recorder software and this microphone torecord your actions ...
  • 28. TIME NEEDED• Introductionand background questions: 5 mins• Homepage initial reactions (don’t click on anything): 5 mins• “Free-range” clicking: 5 mins• Specific tasks: 15 mins• Final thoughts: 5 mins• TOTAL: 30-40 mins
  • 29. HOW ‘BOUT SOME EXAMPLES?
  • 30. HOMEPAGE USABILITY TESTS WINTER 2011
  • 31. HOMEPAGE USABILITY TESTS WINTER 2011• 14 current students (broke my own rule right away!)
  • 32. HOMEPAGE USABILITY TESTS WINTER 2011• 14 current students (broke my own rule right away!)• Asked to use the page on their own -- thinking out loud as they go -- then asked a series of tasks like: • Find the next holiday or break • Log on to Blackboard • How late is the library open tomorrow? • What’s your professor’s e-mail address? • What do you do if you need to apply for summer housing?
  • 33. HOMEPAGE USABILITY TESTS WINTER 2011
  • 34. HOMEPAGE USABILITY TESTS WINTER 2011•4 prospective students
  • 35. HOMEPAGE USABILITY TESTS WINTER 2011•4 prospective students• Use the page on their own, then tasks like: • Do you have an idea of what you might like to study in college? • Can you major in psychology here? • What are the dorms like? • How much is tuition? • What is the deadline for applying?
  • 36. HOMEPAGE USABILITY TESTS WINTER 2011•4 prospective students• Use the page on their own, then tasks like: • Do you have an idea of what you might like to study in college? • Can you major in psychology here? • What are the dorms like? • How much is tuition? Watch • What is the deadline for applying? word choice!
  • 37. SOME EXAMPLE FINDINGS
  • 38. SOME EXAMPLE FINDINGS• Currentstudents rely much more on searching than prospective students.
  • 39. SOME EXAMPLE FINDINGS• Currentstudents rely much more on searching than prospective students.• Prospectivestudents didn’t notice Majors page; current students didn’t browse Student Services page.
  • 40. SOME EXAMPLE FINDINGS• Currentstudents rely much more on searching than prospective students.• Prospectivestudents didn’t notice Majors page; current students didn’t browse Student Services page.• Three of the current students and one of the prospective students did not scroll down on the homepage; the rest scrolled pretty much immediately.
  • 41. SOME EXAMPLE FINDINGS• Currentstudents rely much more on searching than prospective students.• Prospectivestudents didn’t notice Majors page; current students didn’t browse Student Services page.• Three of the current students and one of the prospective students did not scroll down on the homepage; the rest scrolled pretty much immediately.• One person hated the homepage photos. :-(
  • 42. EXAMPLE“Do you know what you want to study in college?”
  • 43. EXAMPLE “What do you need to do ifyou want to spend a semester overseas?”
  • 44. EXAMPLE“How would you find one of your professor’s email addresses?”
  • 45. EXAMPLE“Where would you go to findinformation about internships you might qualify for?”
  • 46. SOME SAMPLE CHANGES
  • 47. SOME SAMPLE CHANGES• Re-arrange Student Services to be subject-based not school-based.
  • 48. SOME SAMPLE CHANGES• Re-arrange Student Services to be subject-based not school-based.• Add Academic Services section to Academics page.
  • 49. SOME SAMPLE CHANGES• Re-arrange Student Services to be subject-based not school-based.• Add Academic Services section to Academics page.• Made Majors, Degrees and Programs a top heading.
  • 50. SOME SAMPLE CHANGES• Re-arrange Student Services to be subject-based not school-based.• Add Academic Services section to Academics page.• Made Majors, Degrees and Programs a top heading.• Add “SEARCH ROCHESTER.EDU” to search box so users don’t confuse it with phone/email directory.
  • 51. SOME SAMPLE CHANGES• Re-arrange Student Services to be subject-based not school-based.• Add Academic Services section to Academics page.• Made Majors, Degrees and Programs a top heading.• Add “SEARCH ROCHESTER.EDU” to search box so users don’t confuse it with phone/email directory.• Add link to Blackboard to the top of the template.
  • 52. SOME SAMPLE CHANGES• Re-arrange Student Services to be subject-based not school-based.• Add Academic Services section to Academics page.• Made Majors, Degrees and Programs a top heading.• Add “SEARCH ROCHESTER.EDU” to search box so users don’t confuse it with phone/email directory.• Add link to Blackboard to the top of the template.• Add Career Services to Working page.
  • 53. SOME SAMPLE CHANGES• Re-arrange Student Services to be subject-based not school-based.• Add Academic Services section to Academics page.• Made Majors, Degrees and Programs a top heading.• Add “SEARCH ROCHESTER.EDU” to search box so users don’t confuse it with phone/email directory.• Add link to Blackboard to the top of the template.• Add Career Services to Working page.• Crop homepage photos narrower whenever possible.
  • 54. OK, WHY DO WE DO THIS THING?
  • 55. BECAUSE I SAID SO.
  • 56. BECAUSE I SAID SO.Because after only one session, you will learn atleast two things you can do to improve how usersexperience your site.Because no website ever got WORSE because youspent 40 minutes watching someone use it. I promise.
  • 57. QUESTIONS?