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Data Driven Design: How Website Usability Testing Can Impact Your Design Decisions
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Data Driven Design: How Website Usability Testing Can Impact Your Design Decisions


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From 2011 CCCU Conference on Technology: …

From 2011 CCCU Conference on Technology:
Higher education websites are inherently complex; they serve multiple audiences with a variety of needs. By nature, they become hard to navigate and difficult for users to accomplish tasks. This session will demonstrate how Tyndale does usability testing and how we have used the data to impact decisions on both website design and information architecture. We will demonstrate simple and cost effective methods of usability testing, and examine how the data received from usability testing can have an impact on the success of your website.

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  • 1.  
  • 2.
    • At Tyndale since 1992
    • Created our first website in 1996
    • Changed focus from core IT to Web Development
    • Love Open Source
    • I’m Canadian eh!
  • 3.  
  • 4.  
  • 5.  
  • 6. What is Usability Testing? Watching people try to use what you’re creating/designing/building (or something you’ve already created/designed/built), with the intention of (a) making it easier for people to use or (b) proving that it is easy to use.
  • 7. What is Usability Testing? Qualitative Test informal & unscientific
  • 8. Why do Usability Testing?
    • All websites have some usability problems
    • Seeing someone struggle to use something your building quickly highlights the biggest issues
    • Makes you a better designer/site builder
    • Secret shoppers – your prospective students
  • 9. Why NOT do Usability Testing?
    • We have no time
    • It costs too much
    • What is the real value anyway?
    excuses, excuses
  • 10. User Centered Design A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability » a must read for anyone creating websites (or software) for someone else to use
  • 11. User Centered Design The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems » focused on understanding and completing do-it-yourself usability tests
  • 12.  
  • 13. BUY THE BOOK!
  • 14. What does a UT look like? Watch & Learn
  • 15. What does a UT look like?
    • Before you test:
    • Recruit some users to do the test
    • Prepare some scenarios (task based) for your users to complete
    • Prepare all of your materials for the test (scenarios, scripts, consent forms etc.)
    • Book people to watch the test
  • 16. What does a UT look like?
    • During the test:
    • Welcome the tester and explain how things are going to work ( use script *)
    • Get the tester to sign the consent form*
    • Explain the scenario(s) you would like them to do
    • Watch them try to complete the scenarios and prompt them to think out loud (what are you thinking?)
    • Thank them, reward them, send them off…
    • *sample forms available at
  • 17. What does a UT look like?
    • Things to consider:
    • People watching - Screen sharing or live? ex. GoToMeeting, WebEx - speaker phone for voice
    • Screen Recording Software ex. Silverback ( ), Camtasia, CamStudio - may also want to record video of user
    • Microphone for recording voice
    • Use a typical system – no weird trackballs or touch pads to confuse the user
  • 18. BUY THE BOOK!
  • 19. I Need a Volunteer
  • 20. You visited Tyndale for an academic conference and have since returned home. While at the conference you heard several faculty speak but one in particular caught your attention. You remember his first name – Richard, and that his book had something to do with 24 – the TV series. You would like him to speak at a conference you are running, but you need to find his full name and contact information, along with the full title of his book before you contact him. Go to and locate this information without using search. The Scenario:
  • 21. Questions?