Usability Study: www.MassageCafeLTD.

com

Report Written by:
Alanna McBride Mike Nigro Christina Turner Cassandra Twoey

Table of Contents
Executive Summary........................................................................... 1 Moderators......................................................................................... 2 Detailed Findings.............................................................................. 3
Content........................................................................................................ 3 What Works with Content.................................................................... 3 Suggestions for Content...................................................................... 3 Design.......................................................................................................... 5 What Works with Design...................................................................... 5 Suggestions for Design........................................................................ 5 Usability and Functionality........................................................................ 7 What Works with Usability and Functionality.................................... 7 Suggestions for Usability and Functionality...................................... 8 Overall Suggestions............................................................................. 8 Mobile Compatibility........................................................................... 9 Sample Test—Usability Study Test .........................................................12 Study Summary........................................................................................... 1 Participant Profiles..................................................................................... 1

Appendix ......................................................................................... 12 Works Cited ..................................................................................... 14

Executive Summary
In March 2013, we conducted 15 usability studies on Massage Café’s website, www. MassageCafeLTD.com. A copy of the study questionnaire is included in this report in the appendix. We asked our participants to speak through their thought process while taking the test. All of our test subjects spoke freely during the test. We will share their thoughts throughout this report. Participants found www.MassageCafeLTD.com easy to navigate and had no difficulty finding the information when prompted. The overall concern with the site centers around the design— potential customers need to find the website usable and aesthetically pleasing. In this report, we will study the website and its content, design, and functionality. We will describe the results of the tests and aspects that participants enjoyed, and we will offer suggestions to help make your website generate business through an engaging experience for potential customers.

Study Summary
• 15 participants • Study focus: • Can clients find all information easily? • Do clients enjoy the overall appearance of the website? • Are all aspects of the website functional and easy to use? • Average test time of 14.5 minutes • All tests were conducted on a desktop PC using Mozilla Firefox • Each test was done in person and followed a script • We offered no compensation for the study • Participants were encouraged to speak aloud through the whole process

Participant Profiles
• 9 male and 6 female • Average age: 37 • Average hours online in a normal day: 5.3 • 8 participants have had a massage before • 1 participant has been to Massage Café • Participants included teachers, retirees, students at Youngstown State University, IT specialists, and district managers

1

Moderators
Alanna McBride
• Alanna McBride is a freelance writer/editor in her senior year at Youngstown State University. She currently works part-time as a copywriter for Park Interactive, LLC—an interactive marketing firm in Youngstown, Ohio. As a copywriter, she helps write and edit website content, proposals, and marketing materials. Alanna will graduate from Youngstown State University in fall 2013. As a student, she received the Outstanding Professional Writing and Editing Senior Award in 2012. She participates in several groups on campus, including Women in Communication and The Penguin Review staff. You can contact her at alannaleigh@att.net.

Mike Nigro
• Michael Nigro is a junior in the Professional Writing and Editing program at Youngstown State University. He is a beginning professional writing student and he is currently searching for a summer internship to get some outside experience in the field. Michael is expected to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in professional writing in the spring of 2014. He enjoys reading sports magazines such as ESPN and Sports Illustrated to keep up with the current events and takes notice on how the articles are written from a journalistic standpoint. He hopes to get a job in sports writing someday wherever that may take him. You can contact Michael at mdnigro@student.ysu.edu

Christina Turner
• Christina Turner is a college student trying to become a published romance author. For the last few years she has been writing all the time. She graduates with a bachelor’s degree in General Studies spring of 2013 and will be furthering her research in the romance genre. She is an avid reader of romance and other genres to keep up with what is hot in the business. She has finished one manuscript and is working on her second. In college, she has taken a variety of classes so she can learn about writing and bits and pieces of the world. You can contact her at clturner01@student.ysu.edu.

Cassandra Twoey
• Cassandra Twoey is a technical writer and editor looking to find a career in the publishing industry. She is in her third year as a professional writing and editing major with a minor in advertising and public relations. She has worked at Youngstown State University’s award-winning student newspaper The Jambar as a copy editor and will be the editor-in-chief for the 2013-2014 academic year. Cassandra is proficient with the Associated Press Stylebook and has experience with content editing. She is familiar with InDesign and Photoshop, and knows the basics of newspaper layout design. You can contact Cassandra at cstwoey@gmail.com.

2

Detailed Findings
Content
In this section, we will cover the basics of the information provided throughout the website and how the test participants interacted with it. Content includes the information provided on the website, how it is worded, how it is organized, and its grammatical aspects. We will cover what works with the content and how to optimize it for better website traffic.

What Works with Content
The content provided on the homepage is good—when people read it. Only two of the test participants took the time to read all the content on the homepage. All of the test participants were able to find contact information for Massage Café: location, phone numbers, and hours of operation from the homepage. While all the information on the homepage is useful, only two of our participants took the time to read it. According to an excerpt from “Eyetracking Web Usability” by Jakob Nielsen and Kara Pernice, there are certain areas of websites that users are drawn to initially. The authors tracked where different users’ eyes spent the most time on different web pages. The Benefits of Massage page provides useful information and is presented in a user-friendly way with different pages and headings for the different sections. All of the information is clear and concise. (http://MassageCafeLTD.com/benefits-ofmassage/) The FAQ page does a good job at addressing common concerns associated with getting a massage, such as the process of the massage and the client’s different options as far as clothing and picking their therapist. (http://MassageCafeLTD.com/faqs/)

Suggestions for Content
1. Even though the content provided on the homepage is useful, most users will not take the Photo 1 shows a typical eyetracking time to read it. Photo 1 shows that users do not map read all of the content on the website. Instead they skim the first few words of each line and focus on the bullet points. We do not suggest changing any content on the homepage, but restating some of the information elsewhere would prove as a great help to users. 2. The Products page has the potential to be a great outlet to market Massage Café’s products. When asked to buy products, our test subjects found the tab easily; however, eight participants stated that they were confused by the Products page, three subjects

3

said they assume they need to go into the store to purchase products, and seven commented that the picture was very difficult to read. We suggest adding descriptions of the products and if possible, prices. It should also be made clear that in order to buy the products, the customer would have to go into Massage Café. Another suggestion would be to reconsider if the page is necessary. 3. Without prompting, three participants mentioned they wanted to see customer feedback somewhere on the website. We suggest connecting the website to your Twitter and Facebook feed to automatically update when clients are posting on your social media pages. We also suggest creating a Customer Feedback section to the website. 4. The Staff page is well organized with profile pictures and links to biographies. However, the top of the staff page would be a prime place to mention that all of the staff members are certified. When we asked participants to find out which staff members are certified, it took the participants an average of two minutes and six seconds. While it is clearly stated on the homepage, we recommend restating it on the staff page. 5. Because there is a lot of information in each biography, we recommend organizing the staff’s information using bullet points and headings, so it is easier to find their certification and so the formatting throughout the pages is consistent. 6. As professional writing and editing majors, we recommend having an editor thoroughly edit the content of the entire website for grammatical errors. None of our test subjects commented on it; however, we noticed several issues, including comma errors, other punctuation errors, and general clarity mistakes.

4

Design
In this section, we will present the design portion of the website. Design involves how the page looks to the eye. It includes the color scheme, various page elements (such as the design of drop-down menus), and pictures.

What Works with Design
All of our test subjects found the website easy to use and navigate. Many of them enjoyed the brown background. One test subject said that the color “fits with the café” theme. Having the logo in the upper left hand side of the page makes sense because people’s eyes are naturally drawn there. Using a san serif font (a style of font that does not have “tails” on the ends of letters) makes sense online. It is standard for readability.

Suggestions for Design
1. Seven test subjects stated that the picture quality was low or that the pictures were difficult to see. We suggest using a higher-resolution camera and making sure that pictures are cropped and not stretched to fit a frame. When they are stretched, they tend to lose their resolution and appear to be blurry. We visited your Facebook page and many of the pictures on it are great and would add an inviting atmosphere to the first impression of the website and to the clients. (See Photo 2)

Photo 2 shows the homepage with a picture taken from Massage Café’s Facebook page. We cropped the picture instead of fitting it to the frame. We suggest other pictures like this for the homepage. * The navigation arrows are boxed to highlight a functionality issue addressed in the homepage functionality suggestions section of the report.

*

Photo 2

5

2. Without being prompted, six test participants commented on the color combinations on the page. Most found the brown nice, but the combination of the yellowish text, the brown background, and the various blue elements was “distracting” and not very pleasing. We recommend using an online resource for creating color schemes. Two examples are colorschemedesigner.com and www.kuler.adobe.com. (See Photo 3)

Photo 3 shows a color scheme example from www.kuler.adobe.com based on the background color from www.MassageCafeLTD.com. When you first enter the site, you can click “Create” to create your own color scheme. From there, you can select a base color and then view various “rules,” such as this compound color scheme.

3. The map on the homepage is very useful. We recommend showing a slightly broader area on the map to help clients and customers find the shop easily. The scope of the map is limited. (See Photo 4)

Photo 4

6

Usability and Functionality
In this section, we will present the results of the usability study based on the website’s functionality and usability. Simply explained, functionality studies if the pages and elements work, and usability studies how well they work based on test-subject feedback. We will examine elements of the pages that work well and address possible solutions and recommendations to help improve the functionality and usability of the site to maximize the experience for your customers.

What Works with Usability and Functionality
Homepage
The homepage functions well. All of the elements are linked properly and lead the user where they were intended. The pictures scroll correctly and stay on the screen for the appropriate length of time. One hundred percent of our test subjects were able to scroll and explore the homepage with ease.

Benefits of Massage Page
The Benefits of Massage page is well organized and works well. The links to the subcategories all function properly and help to keep the data organized and approachable. The multiple links to the other categories work properly and offer different navigation options. The links allow customers to scroll through the information easily.

FAQ Page
The FAQ page functions properly. Customers can easily find additional information to answer their questions.

Pricing Page
During the test, we asked participants to find the pricing for Massage Café. Sixty percent of our volunteers found the Pricing & Services page in less than 15 seconds. All of our volunteers found the Pricing & Services page in less than a minute. They found the price of a massage quickly. One of the volunteers said that it was very easy to navigate. All participants who specifically commented on the price of a massage found it to be inexpensive.

Staff Page
When asked to find the Staff page, all participants found it quickly. They were able to get to the page without trouble. Two participants specifically commented that the pictures of the staff are helpful without being prompted.

7

Products Page
When asked to locate the products, 100 percent of test participants found it in less than one minute.

Contact Us Page
The volunteers were asked what they would do if they wanted to make an appointment to get a massage. One hundred percent of test subjects found a way to make an appointment; Eleven volunteers found where they would contact Massage Café for an appointment in a minute or less. Some volunteers looked for an appointment link. Seven volunteers said they would call the number listed rather than fill out the contact us form.

Suggestions for Usability and Functionality Overall Suggestions
One hundred percent of the people surveyed felt that the entire site was easy to navigate. They were all able to find information based on our questions. However, there are some opportunities to improve the overall functionality of the website. 1. Twelve out of 15 participants wanted pricing information first when considering making an appointment. Even though all of these participants found the pricing easily, we recommend having pricing in the first tab position in the navigation bar. 2. Several of our participants had trouble navigating back to the homepage after clicking on different pages. After several seconds, they either tried clicking on the logo or used the back arrow. None of our participants noticed the breadcrumb trail (See Photo 6) on the individual pages because the color is too close to the background color. W3.org defines a breadcrumb trail: A breadcrumb trail helps the user to visualize how content has been structured and how to navigate back to previous Web pages, and may identify the current location within a series of Web pages. A breadcrumb trail either displays locations in the path the user took to reach the Web page, or it displays the location of the current Web page within the organization of the site. To help improve navigation back to the homepage, we recommend adding a home tab to the navigation bar and changing the font color of the breadcrumb trail to white or another color that offers better contrast to the background.

To help improve navigation back to the homepage, we recommend adding a home tab to the navigation bar and changing the font color of the breadcrumb trail to white or another color that offers better contrast to the background.

Photo 6 is a screen shot of the breadcrumb trail found on the Benefits of Massage page on www. MassageCafeLTD.com. None of the test subjects saw this content without being specifically asked to find it.

8

3. We recommend reading the online article “5 Painless Usability Fixes” for tips to increase the overall usability of the entire site (http://www.usereffect.com/topic/5painless-usability-fixes). The main concern that participants voiced about Massage Café’s website centers around the readability of the text. Two very easy fixes are to increase the font size and to increase font vs. background contrast. The most effective contrast is black text on white background, but for design appeal, that standard lacks attractiveness. We recommend finding a lighter color text that compliments the darkbrown background.

Mobile Compatibility
Statistics show that 11 percent of Internet use comes from mobile devices, and that number is steadily increasing. Mobile Internet usage has gone up 26 percent and tablet Internet use has increased 19 percent. In fact, this trend shows a significant decrease of desktop computer usage. It’s safe to say that mobile Internet usage is the future. But what does that mean for companies that have websites? Only 7 percent of websites are currently optimized for mobile usage. That means that customers can view the most important parts of a website from any mobile device. In our usability test, we asked participants what mediums they use to surf the Internet. Nine of our participants use a smartphone or tablet for the Internet. As part of our research, we checked www.MassageCafeLTD.com for mobile device compatibility on an Android phone and iPad. Photo 7 shows Massage Café’s website as viewed on the cell phone. Photos 8 and 9 show a website that has been optimized for mobile compatibility. Because the iPad screen is much larger, we were able to view most of the website without much issue.

Photo 7

Photo 8

Photo 9

Photo 7 shows Massage Café's website on an Android phone. As you can see, it is extremely difficult to read any of the content. When customers zoom in, they only see a very small portion of text and have to move back and forth to read. Photos 8 and 9 show a website on the same phone that has been optimized for mobile compatibility.

9

4. We recommend Massage Café optimize its website for mobile compatibility. There are many tools online for easy tips on how to accomplish this. One blog post that is useful is http://www.mybloggertricks.com/2012/11/optimize-website-for-tablets.html.

Homepage
5. Test subjects were able to navigate to different pages easily with the navigation bar. To help the navigation bar stand out more, we recommend increasing the font size and bolding the text. 6. Several test subjects notice text under two of the pictures that do not link to anything and disappear when the picture changes. We recommend removing this text because it may confuse clients trying to navigate through the pages. 7. The arrows under the pictures did not function properly during three of our tests. Clients were confused as to the arrows function. We recommend moving the arrows to either side of the photographs because that is the typical location for them. (See arrows under the picture in Photo 2.) 8. The links to the social media accounts function well, but the two test subjects who clicked on them noticed that the accounts have not been regularly updated. We recommend updating those accounts at least once a week in order to ensure that customers viewing your site feel confident that you are current and operating.

Benefits of Massage Page
We have no recommendations to help improve the functionality and usability of the Benefits of Massage page. It is well organized and offers customers a variety of navigation options that all function properly.

FAQ Page
9. Only two of our test subjects took time to read the FAQ page. We recommend creating subsections for this page (like the subsections on the Benefits of Massage page). By organizing the FAQs into three or four subsections, customers will be able to navigate the FAQ page to find their specific questions more efficiently instead of trying to read through thirteen questions looking for their answer.

Pricing Page
At this time, we have no suggestions for increasing usability or functionality for the Pricing page. Test subjects were able to find that information quickly and easily. For pricing in general, one participant did say it would be nice to see some package deals. Two of our participants booked massages in the past because they were given a gift certificate. We suggest offering gift certificate information online to help increase sales.

10

Staff Page
During the testing, we asked participants to find out which staff members at Massage Café are certified. All but two subjects went to the Staff page to locate this information quickly; however, it took more than half of the volunteers over a minute to locate certification information. Only two of the 15 volunteers found the information on the homepage. Two out of 15 volunteers gave up. One volunteer spent over 10 minutes searching for the information. Eight-seven percent of volunteers found that the staff was certified by clicking the staff page and searching through the staff biographies. 10. There are several ways to make this information stand out easily. We recommend highlighting the staff certification at the top of homepage and the Staff page by enlarging the font or making it bold.

Products Page
We asked the volunteers to see if they could buy products. Forty percent of the volunteers spent more than one minute trying to find out if they could buy products online. They were unable to view and click on products in the photograph. Five volunteers wanted to know what kind of products Massage Café uses, but couldn’t find detailed information. Two volunteers were intrigued in the products and wanted to purchase some online. 11. If you are not planning on selling products through your website, we recommend removing the page to help increase functionality and usability for your clients. Eight participants felt confused by the function of this page. 12. If this page was intended to inform clients about the products that Massage Café uses, we recommend creating a bulleted list to explain each product and its benefits in detail.

Contact Us Page
We have no recommendations to help improve the functionality and usability of the Contact Us page. It is well organized and offers customers a variety of navigation options that all function properly.

11

Appendix
Sample Test—Usability Study Test
Hi! My name is We are conducting this usability test to gather information about how usable the site is. We are all students at Youngstown State University. We want to stress that we are testing the website, not you. If you can’t find something or stumble over a question, it is not your fault. We are hoping to compile information on how to make this website better and give the visitor a more pleasant experience. We will be recording your actions. This is for professional purposes only. We will not release these recordings to the public; this is strictly for note-taking purposes. We are asking you to speak aloud as you go through the website. For example, if you see a picture that you like, say, “I like that picture,” and if you are planning to click on the photo, say that you are going to do so. This test will take roughly 15 minutes. If you feel like you need more time, don’t hesitate to tell us. If you finish early, that’s acceptable, too.

HIT RECORD
For the record, could you spell your name for me? Your age? What’s your occupation? How much time do you spend online in a normal day? Through which medium do you usually use the Internet? Our client is a massage clinic, have you ever had a massage before? (If so,) When? (If so,) Where? How did you decide that was where you would get your massage?

MAXIMIZE THE WEB PAGE
Go ahead and take a minute to browse the website. OK, please navigate back to the homepage What was your first impression of the website? So, if you wanted to get a massage here, what is the first thing that you would want to know?

12

Please find out how much a massage costs.
TIME: _______ Pricing Please return to the homepage

Please find out which staff members are certified.
TIME: _______ Staff Please return to the homepage

Say you wanted to make an appointment, what would you do now?
TIME: _______ Appointment Please return to the homepage

Now pretend that you want to buy products. How would you do that?
TIME: _______ Products Thank you! The testing is complete!

Total test time: _________

13

Works Cited
“G65: Providing a Breadcrumb Trail.” World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Massachusetts Institute of Technology, European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics, Keio University, 2012. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. <http://www.w3.org/TR/ WCAG20-TECHS/G65.html>. Meyers, Peter J., Dr. “5 Painless Usability Fixes.” 5 Painless Usability Fixes. N.p., 2012. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. <http://www.usereffect.com/topic/5-painless-usability-fixes>. Nielsen, Jakob, and Kara Pernice. “Chapter 6.” Eyetracking Web Usability. Berkeley, CA: New Riders, 2010. N. pag. Print. Zaib, Qasim. “Why Should You Optimize Your Site for Mobile Devices? | My Blogger Tricks.” My Blogger Tricks. N.p., 08 Apr. 2013. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. <http://www. mybloggertricks.com/2013/04/optimize-websites-for-mobile-devices.html>.

14

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.