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How to Obtain Maximum Insight by Cross-Referring Site Statistics, Focus Groups and Usability Techniques

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Jarrett, C. and Roddis, I. (Sep, 2002) How to Obtain Maximum Insight by Cross-Referring Site Statistics, Focus Groups and Usability Techniques, Proceedings of the IIR/IMRO Symposium “Web-based surveys and usability testing”, San Francisco, California, USA

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How to Obtain Maximum Insight by Cross-Referring Site Statistics, Focus Groups and Usability Techniques

  1. 1. How to obtain maximum insight by cross-referring  site statistics,  focus groups and  usability techniques.
  2. 2. Ian Roddis Web Site Co-ordinator Open University Caroline Jarrett Usability consultant Effortmark Ltd Introductions
  3. 3. UK’s largest university (150,000) Supported open learning which means... • Nearly all students are distance learning • Big majority are working full time • Majority in UK, but also everywhere else The Open University
  4. 4. 400,000 web visits each month 280,000 from students and tutors 120,000 from others Statistics
  5. 5. ”.. investigating how students make course choice decisions online. Student's motivation, behaviour and needs are being tested with focus groups, usability tests and website tracking data... behaviour online is incredibly complex and is often over a long period of time." Purpose of project
  6. 6. Personas description of typical people in target audience Website tracking using cookies and logs Focus groups typically 8 people segment geographically and by type Usability tests one-on-one observation Four methods
  7. 7. Personas predict needs Website tracking current behaviour discern new needs Focus groups expressed needs Usability tests understand current behaviour For what?
  8. 8. Our first focus The whole site
  9. 9. Web landing point for marketing campaign Wide distribution of leaflets Standout
  10. 10. www.open.ac.uk/standout
  11. 11. Standout leads users to believe the OU brand is professional, warm and friendly. It introduces and encourages new users to the OU, and maintains interest and motivation. “I think the site works really well. Feels light but informative” Focus group on Standout?
  12. 12. Describing typical enquirers Based on: - focus groups - quantitative data - qualitative interviews - student demographics Checked in usability tests Creation of personas
  13. 13. Gary left school at 16. Since then, he has worked for several small local construction companies and enjoys the work. He found that his opportunities were limited in the small companies and recently joined one of the biggest in the country. He's finding the work harder than before because the projects are much bigger. The company promotes its 'Investors in People' accreditation and Gary has been asked what he wants to do to improve his qualifications. He thinks that his new employer will help him with sponsorship, but he is concerned about fitting in OU study with a new, demanding full time job and a busy family life. Gary
  14. 14. Where does Gary click?
  15. 15. I want to takethishome
  16. 16. ??
  17. 17. We were looking at the site data Would the actual usage of Standout be the same as our predictions? Meanwhile...
  18. 18. Top 10 Short courses Opening up the OU OU students Your questions Openings Request prospectus Pick the most popular link
  19. 19. Actual choices
  20. 20. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Openings Top 10 Short courses OU students Opening up the OU Request prospectus Your questions Percentage visitors
  21. 21. Review Standout site map Explore meaning of ‘short’ in focus groups Look at site data using personas Continue prototyping and usability testing Current investigations
  22. 22. Researcher’s view: Different perspectives on problem Briefs are integrated, not isolated Strengths of our method
  23. 23. Manager’s view: Strengths of our method
  24. 24. Today Standout Tomorrow 20,000 pages Going global
  25. 25. Open University Angela Ballard Market Research Manager Sarah Miller Usability and web development Viki Stirling New Media Marketing Consultants Sue Robson Sue Robson Consulting Site Intelligence Ltd Credits

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