Improving the Usability of a Web Site Through Expert Reviews and Usability Testing Millicent Marigold Montana Marigold New York Ersatz Publications 2001 2002 25.99 Usability testing Web site development Heuristic evaluation Cognitive walk-through Web site usability Tests d'ergonomie Développement de site web Évaluation heuristique Parcours cognitif Ergonomie de site web 可用性测试 网站建置 启发式评价 认知推演 网站可用性 Elina Rose

The usability of a Web site is how well the site supports the user in achieving specified goals. A Web site should facilitate learning, and enable efficient and effective task completion, while propagating few errors. Satisfaction with the site is also important. The user must not only be well-served, but must feel well-served.

Expert reviews and usability testing are methods of identifying problems in layout, terminology, and navigation before they frustrate users and drive them away from your site.

The most successful projects employ multiple methods in multiple iterations. As Millicent Marigold remarked during a recent conference, "Don't stop. Iterate, iterate, then iterate again."

This book has been approved by the Web Site Users Association.

Expert Reviews

Expert reviewers identify problems and recommend changes to web sites based on research in human computer interaction and their experience in the field.

Two expert review methods are discussed here. They are heuristic evaluation and cognitive walk-through.

Expert review methods should be initiated early in the development process, as soon as paper prototypes (hand-drawn pictures of Web pages) or wireframes (electronic mockups) are available. They should be conducted using the hardware and software similar to that employed by users.

Heuristic Evaluation

Expert reviewers critique an interface to determine conformance with recognized usability principles. One of the best known lists of heuristics is Ten Usability Heuristics by Jacob Nielson. Another is Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines

Cognitive Walk-Through

Expert reviewers evaluate Web site understandability and ease of learning while performing specified tasks. They walk through the site answering questions such as "Would a user know by looking at the screen how to complete the first step of the task?" and "If the user completed the first step, would the user know what to do next?," with the goal of identifying any obstacles to completing the task and assessing whether the user would cognitively be aware that he was successful in completing a step in the process.

Usability Testing

Once the problems identified by expert reviews have been corrected, it is time to conduct some tests of the site with your unique audience or audiences by conducting usability testing.

Users are asked to complete tasks which measure the success of the information architecture and navigational elements of the site.

Then changes are made to improve service to users.

Usability Basics: How to Plan for and Conduct Usability Tests on Web Site Thereby Improving the Usability of Your Web Site New York Ersatz Publications Electronic BookWorks 2000 2001 174.00 Usability testing Web site development Guides and finding aids Tests d'ergonomie Développement de site web Guides et outils de recherche 可用性测试 网站建置 指南和检索工具

This is a basic handbook for planning and conducting usability tests on Web sites. Usability testing should be used in conjunction with other expert review methods.

This book has not been approved by the Web Site Users Association.

Planning then Conducting Usability Tests

Take the following steps to plan usability testing. Clarify and articulate the goal of the usability testing. Identify tasks which are critical for users to be able to complete successfully. Compile a script of questions or instructions which will prompt the user to attempt those tasks. Identify your users and begin recruiting them. Conduct a pretest on a few users. Edit the script based on insights gleaned from the pretest. Resume testing.

Conducting Usability Tests

Users can be tested at any computer workstation They may be more comfortable at their own workstation than in a lab. or in a lab.

Give the user the script, then assure them that you are testing the Web site, not them. Users are asked to verbalize their thoughts as they complete the tasks. The event is recorded or someone takes notes. It is often preferable to have two testers, Usability testing can be done at great expense or on a shoe string, using in-house expertise or contracting with human computer interaction professionals . one to ask the questions, another to take notes. Testers should offer no guidance or comments to the user. Mouse movements, typing, expressions, and the user's words should be recorded.

Evaluating and Implementing Results

Compile the results and review collectively. Make changes to the site to alleviate the problems found in Web site components which were propagating the largest number of or the most devastating errors. Begin new iterations of testing and changes, until users are successful in the accomplishing the tasks.

John Wesley Usabilityguy: A Register of His Papers Millicent Marigold Morty Marigold Washington, D.C. Ersatz Manuscript Library 1998 2002 21.49 Computers Software evaluation Usability testing Manuscript collections Ordinateurs Évaluation de logiciels Tests d'ergonomie Collections de manuscrits 计算机 软件评价 可用性测试 手稿专藏

The papers of John Wesley Usabilityguy span the years 1946-2001, with the bulk of the items concentrated in the period from 1985 to 2001. The papers feature his career as a developer of software applications and usability specialist. The collection consists of correspondence, memoranda, journals, speeches, article drafts, book drafts, notes, charts, graphs, family papers, clippings, printed matter, photographs, résumés and other materials.

1-12 Subject File, <date normalize="1930/1974"> 1930-1974</date>

Correspondence, telegrams, memoranda, journals, logs, testimony, approved travel orders, invitations, charts, graphs, forms, biographical data, photographs, book drafts, clippings and other printed matter, résumés and miscellaneous material. Organized by name of person or organization, topic, or type of material.

1 Computers Software, 1946-1947 Human Computer Interaction research, 1945-1952 Flow diagram, 1950 General, 1947-1951 2 Eye Movement research, 1949-1950 User profiling, 1950s Web User Appreciation Award, 1956
3-5 Writings File, <date normalize="1985/1999">1985-1999</date>

Correspondence, articles, book drafts, notes, contracts, clippings, and printed matter. Arranged alphabetically by type (articles, books, reports, and miscellaneous) and therein alphabetically by type of material, subject, or title.

Writings by Usabilityguy 1996 "How Many Users Are Enough for User Testing?" "How to Evaluate Results from User Tests." 5 "When Are You Done Testing?" "Do-It-Yourself User Testing" Charitable Contributions Diseases: AIDS, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis 1990-1999 Environmental Conservation: Rivers 1995