Infomaki is an open- source, lightweight usability tool developed for and by the New York Public Library. Launched in February 2009 It presents respondents with a single question at a time from a pool of active questions. In its first seven months of use, it had fielded over 100,000 responses from over 10,000 respondents.
• Traditionally, the NYPL had used surveys to get customer feedback. • It was a regular, please-answer-these-questions pitch with 19 questions about web usage habits spread across 8 pages. • Over 14 days, that survey received 7,341 individual answers to questions from 520 respondents, just 60% of whom completed the whole survey. • But, in November of 2008 with a re-design launch looming, they wanted to look for new feedback tools.
December 2010 January 2010 Images via archive.org
NYPL learned about the Five Second Test (open source usability software), which allows users to upload two designs and polls users on preference, upload one design and ask participants to recall elements after initial sighting. (http://fivesecondtest.com/)
Designed to act as a “one question” survey, it presents respondents with a randomly selected questions from a pool of active questions. Initially, two types of questions were supported: multiple choice and “Where would you click to…?” (attached to a screenshot or other image). Recently, they have added five-second tests for comparing two designs and for testing recall of a design’s features. Response times for each answer are also recorded. All of the language used in the project is “geared towards lowering the cognitive load on the respondent.” The link from the main web site to the tool reads, “Answer a single question and help us improve our web site!” “The sales pitch makes it clear that even if you only answer one question, it will be welcomed.” - Michael Lascarides, Code4Lib After answering a single question, participants are taken to a “thank you” page where they are asked if they’d like to answer additional questions. 90% of respondents answer more than one question, and the average number of questions answered per respondent is nearly 11. - NYPL
• The application stores all results from varied types of questions in a single database table, which makes it extremely easy to analyze response statistics and ensure that no respondent sees the same question more than once.• Response data is displayed in tables and histograms (for multiple choice-type questions) and heat maps (for “click on this”-style questions). • Heat maps can show up as individual clicks or a percentage grid overlay, Infomaki sample Histogram results and colors are adjustable for contrast with different designs.