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User Testing – The Results

Thanks to all those that help us out on Friday in both Ellon and Banchory libraries!

We found it a really useful exercise and it certainly got us thinking about our new design. Libraries seem to be a great arena for testing and we got a good cross section of users from all different demographics.

We were using what’s called the thinkaloud protocol, where we were asking users to speak through what they were clicking on, and why.

Specifics we wanted to look at on the new design were

  • First Impressions
  • New Site vs. Old
  • Navigation
  • On page links
  • External and Related Links Box
  • Colours
  • Page width
  • A-Z on every page

Overall first impressions were very positive and some of the comments were as follows (with our comments in italics):

  • Doesn’t look like a council website [were taking this as a positive! ]
  • Bright, Clean, Modern, Professional, but why pink?
  • More pictures please! These brighten up the site. [See Jamie’s post about how you can contribute to this]
  • The A-Z was especially useful and was often preferred to the left hand navigation for finding content
  • Some of the pages had too much text and content got in the way of what they were trying to find
  • Could you have the contact number on each page? [This is something we are considering]
  • Local information will be a great addition
  • Links are obvious [We have changed the way we display these as they are no longer underlined]
  • Nice use of colours, but not sure about the Social Care and Health fluorescent red [We thought that some of the colours are too bright]
  • Could all the forms be in one location? [Great idea! Were definitely going to implement this one!]
  • No way to click back to homepage at the top left [We will add this in – another great help]
  • Events section is a great addition! [We have had this for a while, but the new site brings it forward in the structure]
  • Quick links look good, could these be customised? [Another great suggestion and something were working on – watch this space!]
  • Why doesn’t libraries have its own section on the left hand side?
  • Content stands out more and good to move away from the ‘doctors surgery’ green [We didn’t even think about that, but now you mention it…]
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We’ve been working on the new site for a few weeks now we would like some fresh insight. One way to find out if it really works is to test it with some real users.

I will therefore be in Ellon Library next Friday morning (17th October) with my thick-skinned suit on, laptop at the ready awaiting your comments!If you fancy dropping in, we will have an almost completely working version of the site and would love to ask you a few simple questions.

Testing one user is 100% better than testing none, however we are really hoping for 10 – 15 ‘volunteers’ to grab for a quick chat about the site. The more the merrier!

Alongside your first impressions I’ll be looking at 3 main points of the new design.

  • Its “effectiveness” – how easy it is to learn or complete a task.
  • Its “efficiency” – the speed at which a task can be completed.
  • Its “satisfaction” – your perception or opinion of the process.

Just as importantly, it would be great to hear your general thoughts on the site. Is it useful? Is it usable? Are we completely missing the point?

More details including times and other locations to follow early next week.

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