I N F O – I 5 4 3 U S A B I L I T Y A N D E VA L UAT I V E M E T H O D S INDIANA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF INFORMATICS FALL 2010 D R .

DAV I D E B O L C H I N I

US A BIL I TY IN S PE CTI O N R E PO RT
INDIANAPOLIS PUBLIC SCHOOLS WWW.IPS.K12.IN.US

INSPECTED BY TEAM 2: STEVEN ENTEZARI HAI DAN HUANG JAY WHEELER

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents Table of Figures Executive Summary Presentation of Application Inspection Methods Used General Process of Inspection Scenarios Severity Rating System Inspection Results 1. Content 1.1 Missing and Inconsistent Information 1.2 Target User Misidentified 1.3 Consistency of information and representation 1.4 When was the News New 2. Information Architecture 2.1 Visualizations of School Proximity 2.2 Too Much Information accomidating too many people 2.3 No way back 2.4 Where am I 2.5 Unrelated Navigation 2.6 Homepage without Main Content (Homeless Homepage) 2.7 Archiving 3. Navigation 3.1 Undistinguishable Links 3.2 Too Much Navigation 3.3 No indication leaving the website 3.4 Provide choices without decision information 4. Presentation 4.1 Users don’t know where they are 4.2 Inconsistent Font Sizes, Weights & Decoration: Hyperlinks 4.3 Mixed representation of information and linked files 4.4 Inconsistent Design Of Sub Domains 4.5 Deemphasizing position of important menus 5. Semiotics 5.1 Error Recovery 5.2 Mislabeled pages 5.3 Insufficient information Appendix A. Sitemap B. Interview of School Corporation Website C. Scenario Based Inspection D. Scenarios Entezari, Huang, Wheeler 2 4 5 6 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 10 11 12 13 13 14 16 16 17 18 19 20 20 21 22 23 24 25 25 26 28 29 29 29 30 32 35 35 36 39 43 2

E. User Profiles F. User Characteristics G. Synopsis H. Summarizations of Recommendations’ References

46 47 50 53 54

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TABLE OF FIGURES
Figure 1 High-Level IPS Website Model .................................................................................. 7 Figure 2 School Information ..................................................................................................... 10 Figure 3 Welcome Page of Community ................................................................................ 11 Figure 4 Recource in Different Sections ............................................................................... 12 Figure 5 News Page ...................................................................................................................... 13 Figure 6 A Long List of Schools ................................................................................................ 14 Figure 7 Many Different Calendars for Different Users ................................................. 15 Figure 8 How Can I Go Back ...................................................................................................... 16 Figure 9 NavigatioN and My Location................................................................................... 17 Figure 10 Unrelated Navigation ............................................................................................. 18 Figure 11 Homepage without Welcome or General Introduction ............................. 19 Figure 12 News without Published Date ............................................................................. 20 Figure 13 Links and Text with Same Appearance ............................................................ 21 Figure 14 Four Navigation Bars on a Single Page ............................................................ 22 Figure 15 No External Link Alerts .......................................................................................... 23 Figure 16 Not Enough Hinting ................................................................................................. 24 Figure 17 Current Category Unknown ................................................................................. 25 Figure 18 Links Look Different ................................................................................................ 26 Figure 19 Mixed Presentation of Calendars ....................................................................... 27 Figure 20 Why do Different Pages in the Same Site Look So Different .................... 28 Figure 21 Easy to Overlook Navigation ................................................................................ 29 Figure 22 Error Page ................................................................................................................... 30 Figure 23 About Us ....................................................................................................................... 31 Figure 24 “No Child Left Behind” Mislabled ....................................................................... 31 Figure 25 Contact Information ................................................................................................ 32

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USABILITY INSPECTION REPORT
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Indianapolis Public School System (IPS) Corporation website is an informational website about the Indianapolis Public School Corporation. The purpose of the site is to communicate news, events and educational related information to primary stakeholders who include faculty, staff, parents and casual users. An evaluation was conducted on the IPS Corporation website using two primary methods; scenario evaluation and heuristic inspection. Scenario-based evaluation looks at domain specific items from the viewpoint of a stakeholder. Heuristic inspection looks at the broader scope of issues that can come from the viewpoint of the stakeholder, but also looks at independent factors of overall usability. Reference the appendix for a complete list of stakeholders, scenarios and heuristics used in the evaluation of the IPS Corporation website. The IPS Corporation‟s website presents stakeholders with information relevant to their needs, however, through systematic evaluation, our group has identified several key areas that point to gaps in the design attributing to degraded usability of the website. The following are a list of areas which, if improved, can yield substantial gains for the user and their experience using the website. Content & Information Architecture: The IPS website provides a very rich set of content to its stakeholders in a semi-useful way. Our primary concern is around the consistency in which the content is presented to the users. The structure and depth of the information presented in many areas was loosely coupled to the topics and on several occasions was used out of context excluding key stakeholders in the message. A formal review process introduced before the information is published can mitigate many of the issues identified. It should be noted, however, that the content contained on the IPS Corporation‟s site is very rich and resourceful as it is now, however the structure, layout, and headings of this information does not valorize the accurate richness of the content. The revamp we are suggesting would integrate with the already rich

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content to present a better experience for the user when visiting. You will find eleven identified issues, which may point towards a specific problem for reference, but could represent a wider and more global issue for refinement. Navigation: The website, with all of its content is very deep. One of the primary concerns is the lack of backward navigation. Additionally, how links are grouped among pages can be confusing for the user. We identified, in several locations, groups of links that had no relevance to the content displayed. Finally, several pages have links that reference off-site locations. Ideal, users should be informed of outside navigation and open those sites in separate windows. Changes like this can prevent a user from experiencing frustration when navigating the IPS Corporation‟s site and thus maintaining visitor‟s loyalty. You will find four representative cases of navigation issues occurring in the IPS Corporation‟s website. Presentation & Semiotics: The IPS Corporation website contains several sub-sites used by teachers and students, which do not provide a consistent design at the presentation layer (i.e. graphics & layout). This makes the site feel greatly segmented and does not promote a consistent brand. This can also be felt in the current usage of links and labels within a given sub-site as well. Improving the cohesiveness is key in driving higher utilization of the IPS website as a communication mechanism for the school corporation. The eight problems emphasized in our analysis may point to specific issues we‟ve found, but should be generalized to the entire site, using our specific issues as representatives of a global problem.

PRESENTATION OF APPLICATION
The IPS Corporation website is an information-rich website communicating news, events and educational related information to faculty, staff, parents, students and community. The website contains many sub-sites which attributes to a deep navigational structure and multiple page schemas. The guiding vision of the website is to make IPS a flagship in innovative urban education, preparing all students to be successful in the global economy.

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The website is an important asset for the Indianapolis Public School Corporation. It is used by stakeholders frequently and caters to them in several ways.

FIGURE 1 HIGH-LEVEL IPS WEBSITE MODEL

Figure 1 shows a high-level representation of the website. The information is primarily grouped by relevancy for parents, staff and the community. Within these areas stakeholders can expect to find information such as calendars, topics of concern, items need by students for

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school, and directories containing contact information for the various schools and departments housed within IPS. Other sub-sites like IPS Tube, IPS online and school specific sites cater to parents, students and teachers to access homework, grades, rich-media and other various types of data. These sites, while important to our evaluation, are behind a level of security, which prevented the team from a deeper level of inspection.

INSPECTION METHODS USED GENERAL PROCESS OF INSPECTION
Multiple techniques were used in the evaluation of the IPS website. Initially, informal interviews were conducted on a subset of the stakeholders who included Parents, Teachers and Community Members. From those interviews we created both profiles of the key stakeholder and scenarios that appeared most relevant to the overall evaluation (See Appendix - Scenarios). After evaluating the scenarios from the perspective of our key stakeholders, we documented any usability issues that were encountered. Additionally, we utilized heuristic inspection techniques, which we used to conduct further exploration to exploit any additional usability problems not found by the scenario-based evaluation. The heuristic inspection utilized the well-known, MILE+ heuristic library and Nielsen‟s inspection heuristics.

SCENARIOS
There were a total of 13 scenarios done for this analysis. The items below represent the goals each scenario tried to accomplish. There are multiple tasks per goal, which is why nine goals are represented below. We accomplished the scenarios using personas created for each of the primary stakeholders. A sample of the personas we used for our scenario-based inspection can be found in the appendix with our scenario based inspection report.

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TABLE 1 SCENARIO

Stakeholder Parent

Tasks
 Do research to decide the middle school for her child  Get information from her daughter‟s school  Get up to date with the IPS news  View the proper procedure for reporting her absence to work due to her child‟s illness  Find notes of school board meeting which she missed  Get general information of the community  Select the potential school she is going to work  Find when and where local sporting events are taking place  Find donation opportunity in IPS

Staff

Potential job seeker Casual User

SEVERITY RATING SYSTEM
The Severity Rating System is a mechanism our team used to identify the importance of the issue from the perspective of the user. The inspection results identified later on in the report contain a severity rating to help designers in prioritizing work. While certain bias can rate an issue higher or lower, our team tried to remain objective and focus the severity from the perspective of the user and not our own. Below are the ratings we utilized for this evaluation.    Major - Correction is important with a higher priority Minor - Error of low priority Superficial - Don‟t need fixing unless extra time is available

INSPECTION RESULTS 1. CONTENT
1.1 MISSING AND INCONSISTENT INFORMATION
Problem Description/Characterization: When accessing individual schools, the user has an expectation as to what s/he will find on the page. On many of the school pages, the information available is very limited or simply non-existent. This could give the impression that the website is under construction and unreliable. However, ultimately, the user is left with no clues as to what is going on, when they should check back, or if the problem is one with their computer or the website itself. Examples: While one school may have a very detailed overview and content rich specification of the school (right), another school may have very basic information of little to no relevance to the user whatsoever. Website 1: http://www.schools.ips.k12.in.us/schooldetail.php?num=501

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Website 2: http://www.schools.ips.k12.in.us/schooldetail.php?num=15

FIGURE 2 SCHOOL INFORMATION

Website on the left has extremely little content when compared to website on the right. Severity: Major Requirements for Improvement: The process for obtaining the sites content should be clearly defined and a review board should be established to monitor both the breadth and depth of the information presented. If information is unavailable the user should be presented with a notification stating why it is unavailable and provide a timeline for when it will be updated. Design Dimension: Content Source Heuristics: Accuracy – Content Actions – Content Reference Scenario: N/A

1.2 TARGET USER MISIDENTIFIED

Problem Description/Characterization: Throughout the site, there are areas where the target user is not able to discern whether the location identified by the page title is the appropriate content for the user. Examples: A community member can be either a local business or an individual of the community with no affiliation to a business or IPS. The way the content was written fails to recognize the target audience as a whole.

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FIGURE 3 WELCOME PAGE OF COMMUNITY

Only welcomes business community members? Severity: Major Requirements for Improvement: Providers of content should recognize all potential users and the context of the information they are providing. Formal reviews should be conducted for any content that is to be published. There should also be a checklist that the reviewers use to help guide them through the review process. Design Dimension: Content Source Heuristics: Content - Text Coverage Reference Scenario: Scenario 7, 9

1.3 CONSISTENCY OF INFORMATION AND REPRESENTATION
Problem Description/Characterization: Throughout the website similar information is segmented out into individual topics. Within those individual topics the information display is inconsistent in depth and breadth of the content provided. Also within those individual topics, there is no structure to the means of sorting the data. It seems very inconsistent across the pages. Examples: Each of the three resource pages provides information to the user in different formats. Information is not alphabetized on the local resources page, information across pages can sometimes be vague and information about universities is completely missing.

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FIGURE 4 RECOURCE IN DIFFERENT SECTIONS

Is the data in Local Resources (left) sorted by importance? Is the data in State Resources (middle) and State Colleges and Universities (right) sorted alphabetically? Severity: Minor Requirements for Improvement: Formal reviews should be conducted for any content that is to be published. There should also be a checklist that the reviewers use to help guide them through the review process to help detect missing or inconsistent representation of information. Design Dimension: Content Source Heuristics: Content: Text - Content Objectivity Reference Scenario: Scenario 7, 9

1.4 WHEN WAS THE NEWS NEW

Problem Description/Characterization: When the user accesses the news from the homepage, they are shown a screen that does not have dates of the postings. This is important for the user to allow the user to have a basic trust with the site. Examples: When the user views the news on the IPS site, they are presented with the headline and a quick description about the content of that article. There is no information as to when the articles were posted. The dates you see in the example above are all related to the article itself and are not the actual dates they were published. http://www.ips.k12.in.us/headlines.php

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FIGURE 5 NEWS PAGE

I know the date of the event, but when was the news posted? Severity: Minor Requirements for Improvement: Display dates for every posting. Design Dimension: Content Source Heuristics: Currency – Text – Content Reference Scenario: Scenario 5

2. INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE
2.1 VISUALIZATIONS OF S CHOOL PROXIMITY
Problem Description/Characterization: When the user attempts to find a school close to their home, they have no visual cues as to the physical location of the school compared to where they are. The user needs a means as to visually locate a school in relation to distance from other schools, the user, and other landmarks. Examples: This is the extent of the results returned to the user when they perform a search for all schools. They can specify it based on the type of school, however, they would benefit being able to see a visual representation of the schools location in respect to another location (i.e. map). http://www.schools.ips.k12.in.us/

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FIGURE 6 A LONG LIST OF SCHOOLS

How can I find a school near me? Severity: Major Requirements for Improvement: The user should have some medium of visualization that conveys and can assist the user in their search. One possibility is for a map to be present, showing the user the school on a familiar interface (map of the city). Another possibility, maybe even in combination with the first mentioned, is to allow the user to enter their address or zip code in order to receive a list of schools ordered by distance from their location. This is a common feature offered in many location/map-based searches for the simple fact of simplicity. It is easy to incorporate and the frameworks are basically already built and waiting to be used. Design Dimension: Information Architecture Source Heuristics: Accessibility of Different Pages – Navigation within a Topic Navigation Reference Scenario: Scenario 1

2.2 TOO MUCH INFORMATION ACCOMMODATING TOO MANY PEOPLE
Problem Description/Characterization: When the user accesses the calendars page they are presented with a list of calendars that mix school calendars, holiday calendars, important dates, staff calendars and pay calendars. The information presented here is not separated by type of user who may find it confusing and overwhelming to find information relevant to their needs. The contents of the calendars are not explicitly stated nor are their functions. Examples: The page is full of information. Calendars that link to pdf documents are located at the top, followed by internal anchor links to other areas of the page. At the end, the user is finally presented with the content of the pages that span 6 screenshots shown above. The target words are not clearly identified throughout the page and the pdf links cannot be differentiated from the internal anchor links. This could confuse the user when anticipating what information will show up from their selection.

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http://www.about.ips.k12.in.us/index.php?id=3323

FIGURE 7 MANY DIFFERENT CALENDARS FOR DIFFERENT USERS

What page am I on? Will the user be able to find the correct calendar in a timely manner? Severity: Minor Requirements for Improvement: Information should be clear segmented between the types of users. Only information relevant to the target user should be presented. Because information spans many pages, the design should consider using separate pages for each of the targeted user groups with a landing page that ties all calendars together. Design Dimension: Information Architecture Source Heuristics: Segmentation – Navigation within a Topic - Navigation Reference Scenario: Scenario 4

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2.3 NO WAY BACK

Problem Description/Characterization: The information architecture of the IPS website is structured mainly according to the Hierarchy Paradigm. There is no problem when the user selects a topic and accesses to the more detailed informational pages under it. However, she cannot go back from the detailed to the upper level. The only way to do so is by clicking the back button of the browser. The Backward feature linearly records every click of the user, so that the user needs to click many times to go back to the upper level and select another topic, which will be very annoying and will surely interrupt user‟s work flow. Examples: When the user wants to go back from the school‟s detail information (B) to the webpage (A), s/he has no access or hint about how to go back. User may don‟t know what to do and stuck there. The only way to go back is by clicking the back button of the browser. If the user clicked several pages in (B), she may need to click many times backward to access (A), which is very annoying and can ruin the work flow. http://www.schools.ips.k12.in.us/schooldetail.php?num=14

FIGURE 8 HOW CAN I GO BACK

If the user ends up on (B), they may not know how to get back to (A). Severity: Major Requirements for Improvement: Keep track of the users browsing. Provide links back to each previous page the user navigates through the hierarchical site structure. Design Dimension: Information Architecture Source Heuristics: Backward Navigation of Tree Navigation Reference Scenario: 2

2.4 WHERE AM I
Problem Description/Characterization: Throughout the site, there are areas where the target user is not able to discern at what level they are at within the website Examples:

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The website lacks of the hint of the user‟s current location of within the hierarchy. It will be an obstacle for the user to navigate through the website, such as browse within the same topic or go to the upper hierarchy. If a user clicks on the community link at the top of the page, then on local resources are presented with the following page. There is no indication that 1.) They are within the community section of the website and 2.) There is only minimal indication that they are on the local resources tab of the community page.

FIGURE 9 NAVIGATION AND MY LOCATION

How do I know where I am in relation to the site structure? Severity: Major Requirements for Improvement: Design should include visual cues in the navigation that highlights their currently location. Items such as breadcrumbs are good solutions to provide the track and navigate within the hierarchy. Another idea is to change text color or background color of links for the current location and/or breadcrumbs could be used to help users quickly identify their level within the website and also help navigate back to a high level location. Design Dimension: Information architecture Source Heuristics: Navigation within a topic – Orientation cues Reference Scenario: Scenario 7, 9

2.5 UNRELATED NAVIGATION

Problem Description/Characterization: The content of the page and links within the navigation bar are unrelated. As the navigation bar provides important clues for users about where they are, and navigates them within the same topic or to other topics, the unrelated navigation will make user get lost Moreover, it will annoy the users by providing no entrance to where they want to go and force them to choose the ones they may not be interested in; or leave. Examples:

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This is an About Us page showing general information of IPS. Users come to this page with the goal of getting general information about IPS. However, the navigation bar on the right side provides links to unrelated sections, such as No Chile Left Behind. It will bring uncertainty to the user and may distract the user.

FIGURE 10 UNRELATED NAVIGATION

What do these links have to do with “About Us”? Severity: Major Requirements for Improvement: Make sure the links matches the content, and remove the unrelated ones. Examine the arrangement of the navigation to make sure they clearly represent the structure of the website. Design Dimension: Information architecture Source Heuristics: N/A Reference Scenario: Scenario 11

2.6 HOMEPAGE WITHOUT MAIN CONTENT (HOMELESS HOMEPAGE)
Problem Description/Characterization: On the home page, within the content area, the user is confronted with four segmented areas. While segmentation in a website is necessary, this segmentation style leaves no room for utilization of a main content area; confusing the user. The user will not be able to do a quick scan of the page to retrieve the information they need. The user will also be unable to attain necessary information to achieve high confidence in their selection of this website for their specific needs. Examples: The user is unable to quickly identify any information without the need to delve further into subtopics. There is no “Main” content on the homepage. The user doesn‟t have an

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introductory statement to read about the pages, which could cause the user to lose trust for the site and their confidence in their choice of this site to answer their questions. http://www.ips.k12.in.us

FIGURE 11 HOMEPAGE WITHOUT WELCOME OR GENERAL INTRODUCTION

Does the user feel welcome when they access this page or do they feel like it is simply pushing them off to another section? Severity: Minor Requirements for Improvement: Develop an area for main content to be displayed to the user. This should summarize the site and what the site represents. Design Dimension: Information Architecture Source Heuristics: Grouping Adequacy – Macro Areas – Interface Design Reference Scenario: N/A

2.7 ARCHIVING
Problem Description/Characterization: The information within this page contains events specific to IPS. The events are arranged according to the date posted, however, the posted date is missing. The posted date is an important hint for user, which indicates how the events are arranged and organized. Instead, the date of the event is on the news title. It may give the users an impression that the news is arranged randomly, so that the user will have difficulty in finding the necessary news. Examples:

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The user cannot modify their view of the news. They can‟t control what news they see. They are only presented with the most recent news added to the page (also with no currency). http://www.ips.k12.in.us/headlines.php

FIGURE 12 NEWS WITHOUT PUBLISHED DATE

When was that posted? Severity: Minor Requirements for Improvement: Giving the user more of a choice would allow them to feel more comfortable by giving more control over what they view. If they had an option to view most recent, 2009, 2008, 2007, etc. news, they can have more control over navigation and, ultimately, gain more comfort. Design Dimension: Information architecture Source Heuristics: Coverage – Text – Content Reference Scenario: Scenario 5

3. NAVIGATION
3.1 UNDISTINGUISHABLE LINKS
Problem Description/Characterization: Throughout the site, there are areas where the user is not able to differentiate a link from text unless s/he hovers over the text. While the color blue does identify many links, it is important to remain consistent. Menus should be clearly defined as areas that only contain links and are not part of the content of the page. The problem will make the user cannot

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recognize the links, which will leads to the user just scan but not clicking them. Thus, the user cannot access the information within the links. Example 1: Within the menu of the School Details, there are links and non-links. For example School Website is a link, while Enrollment is non-link. The items that are links cannot be differentiated from regular text. This will confuse the user and prohibit them from locating what they intend to find on the site. http://www.schools.ips.k12.in.us/schooldetail.php?num=39

FIGURE 13 LINKS AND TEXT WITH SAME APPEARANCE

How do I know it‟s not a link? Severity: Major Requirements for Improvement: The links need to be distinguished as different from normal text. This can be done using the average blue text with underlining (preferred), or another style that better matches the design of the site. Whatever the case, the style should be easily distinguishable from normal text on the page and must remain consistent throughout the pages. Design Dimension: Semiotic Source Heuristics: Anchor Identity – Overall Graphic Design – Graphics – Interface Design Reference Scenario: Scenario 2

3.2 TOO MUCH NAVIGATION

Problem Description/Characterization:

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On many of the pages, usually deeper in the site structure, the navigation is split into many parts. It is not made immediately apparent which link navigates the page, topic, or site. Examples: There are two separate “Global Navigation” bars as well as two separate “Page/Topic Specific Navigation” areas. This is too much information for the user to keep in memory and offers too many choices, which will eventually lead to an increased confusion of the user. http://www.parents.ips.k12.in.us/

FIGURE 14 FOUR NAVIGATION BARS ON A SINGLE PAGE

Are 4 completely exclusive navigation bars necessary? Severity: Major Requirements for Improvement: The user should be presented with one, or at the very most two, navigation areas. These should not only be placed within close proximity to one-another, but they should be easily identified and defined by the user. Design Dimension: Navigation Source Heuristics: Grouping Adequacy – Macro Areas – Semiotics – Interface Design Reference Scenario: N/A

3.3 NO INDICATION LEAVING THE WEBSITE

Problem Description/Characterization: There are some links that connect to the websites outside of IPS. The new website opens in the same window without alerts notifying the user that they are leaving IPS. The user may be confused as to where they actually are. Examples:

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The link that the user clicks does not signify the navigation to an “outside” page. Also, the page that the user is navigated to has no way of returning to the page the user was just at without the use of the “back” button. http://www.schools.ips.k12.in.us/schooldetail.php?num=15 http://mustang.doe.state.in.us/SEARCH/snapshot.cfm?schl=5515

FIGURE 15 NO EXTERNAL LINK ALERTS

Will the user be surprised when they are navigated from IPS (top) to a mutually exclusive Indiana Government site (bottom)? Severity: Major Requirements for Improvement: The user must feel as though s/he is always within the structure of the site. Confidence of the user, in this case, is based greatly on trust that when navigating within the site, they are being directed to areas within the structure of the site itself. On possibility for redesign would be to present the user with a pop-up browser when the user clicks an external link. The user, in this case, would still need some type of signification that they are leaving the „trusted‟ IPS site. Along these same lines, instead of a pop up, the user could be directed to a new tab. Design Dimension: Navigation Source Heuristics: Backward Navigation Reference Scenario: Scenario 3

3.4 PROVIDE CHOICES WITHOUT DECISION INFORMATION
Problem Description/Characterization:

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The website provides many choices to users without information for decision. The user has to judge whether the item is the exact one that they want with little information. Though the user can click into the link to see whether it is the one they want, if there is a long list of links, it takes a long time for user to click in each link to find the specific one. The website also lacks the searching or other strategies for users finding. Examples: The site provides all schools within the area to the user. If the user is finding a school to fit her specific requirement, she can only judge whether the school fits with the information of Schools‟ Number, Name and Phone, as provided. Obviously, this is insufficient for a judgment call. Thus the user has to click in each school website which, could take a long time. On the other hand, if the user wants to find a school called William Penn, she can only scan the long list to find it and it‟s easy to miss the school.

FIGURE 16 NOT ENOUGH HINTING

How do I know the school is the one I want to find with only the school name, number and phone? Severity: Major Requirements for Improvement: Provide more strategies for school searching, such as filtering or arranging the schools according to specific school attribute. Provide more information or attributes to the choices (i.e. address, email, fax. website, etc.). Design Dimension: Navigation Source Heuristics: N/A Reference Scenario: N/A

4. PRESENTATION
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4.1 USERS DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY ARE

Problem Description/Characterization: The status of the current page is not visible. There are not enough clues about what topic the current page belongs to. It could lead the user to confusion about where they are, and have no access to browse more webpage‟s in the same topic. Examples: The user selects the Washington Irving School from the list of Elementary School. But in school‟s pages, there is no clue indicating which category does the Washington Irving School belongs to. The user may get confused about which kind of school they selected, and there is no way for her to brows more schools in the same category. Moreover, the text “School 14” is meaningless in the title while it is an indication of the school‟s range.

FIGURE 17 CURRENT CATEGORY UNKNOWN

Is this an Elementary school? Middle school? High School? Charter School? Severity: Major Requirements for Improvement: Add indications to let users know where they are currently with regards to the schools category. For example highlight the category the user chooses. Design Dimension: Representation Source Heuristics: Navigation within a Topic - Orientation Clues Reference Scenario: 3

4.2 INCONSISTENT FONT SIZES, WEIGHTS & DECORATION: HYPERLINKS
Problem Description/Characterization:

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Throughout the site the user notices various cues for hyperlink identification. This may be confusing for the user, causing additional page scanning and a decrease in the efficiency and utility of the website Examples: This is a representation IPS websites main homepage. Above the IPS logo one will notice that the top links are bolded and larger than any other links on the page. One may also observer there is no text action or cue that those are links (i.e. no dynamic underlining, text highlighting, etc.). Further, sub navigation does contain background highlighting. Navigation of topics in the body are bolded which is inconsistent of the secondary navigation and do not provide any dynamic cues for users.

FIGURE 18 LINKS LOOK DIFFERENT

How does the user know the hierarchical and hyper textual meanings of the headers? Severity: Major Requirements for Improvement: There needs to be a consistent format for navigation on the website controlled through cascading style sheets. First, second, third level links should contain either dynamic or nondynamic cues such as color, text decoration or highlighting and should remain consistent across pages. The designer should make it easy for the user to discern that a hyperlink exists and not be formatted like other text on a page. Design Dimension: Presentation Source Heuristics: Graphic Design – Font Size and Type Reference Scenario: N/A

4.3 MIXED REPRESENTATION OF INFORMATION AND LINKED FILES

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Problem Description/Characterization: When the user accesses the calendars page they are presented with a list of calendars some of which are presented in documents such as PDF files and some that are displayed on directly on the screen. The style of presentation creates unnecessary churn for the user who expects to see everything in one place. Examples: The page is full of information. Calendars that link to pdf documents are located at the top, followed by internal anchor links to other areas of the page. At the end, the user is finally presented with the content of the pages that span 6 screenshots shown above. The target words are not clearly identified throughout the page and the pdf links cannot be differentiated from the internal anchor links. This could confuse the user when anticipating what information will show up from their selection. http://www.about.ips.k12.in.us/index.php?id=3323

FIGURE 19 MIXED PRESENTATION OF CALENDARS

Is one page sufficient for all of these calendars? Severity: Major Requirements for Improvement: Linked files (i.e. PDFs) should support the information presented on the screen and NOT be a substitute for it. Users should be able to see the information in one place without having to open multiple windows or documents. This saves them both time and reduces the

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frustration if the information is not what they expected after waiting for the linked file to open. Design Dimension: Presentation & Content Source Heuristics: Segmentation – Navigation within a Topic - Navigation Reference Scenario: Scenario 4

4.4 INCONSISTENT DESIGN OF SUB DOMAINS
Problem Description/Characterization: When the user clicks through various sub domains within the IPS website (i.e. http://www.ips.k12.in.us/; https://portal.ips.k12.in.us/; http://www.ipstube.ips.k12.in.us/; https://employment.ips.k12.in.us/ips_online_application/(qwq5b0202f3aly55e5izjm45)/def ault.aspx) there is no consistent identity which can confuse the user about their true location within the website. Examples:

FIGURE 20 WHY DO DIFFERENT PAGES IN THE SAME SITE LOOK SO DIFFERENT

This is a representation when a user navigates to one of the various sub domains within the IPS website. The visual identity is not consistent causing the user additional effort to identify that the webpage is within the IPS website. Severity: Minor Requirements for Improvement: The user should have the ability to quickly identify that they are still on the IPS website without having to review the URL in the browser address bar. By keeping a consistent look to each page (i.e. consistent header, logo, high-level navigation, footer) it will be easier for the user to recognize the site and provide the user with a sense of confidence knowing they are not being take to another site outside of IPS. Design Dimension: Semiotics Source Heuristics: Overall Graphic Design - Visual identity Reference Scenario: N/A Entezari, Huang, Wheeler 28

4.5 DEEMPHASIZING POSITION OF IMPORTANT MENUS
Problem Description/Characterization: According to user‟s layout contention, they scan from top left to right down. Thus the important information should be located on the left. Location can be hint of the content. Now the navigation bar is put on the right, giving the user an impression that such information is less important. Users may not notice it or may not recognize it as a navigation bar, so that the user may miss the information inside. Examples: The menu of School Details contains school‟s statistics, and links to more information to the schools. However, it is located on the right, where is usually for the advertisement or supplementary information. Thus, the user may customarily ignore the School Detail, so that she can never access the information or links inside.

FIGURE 21 EASY TO OVERLOOK NAVIGATION

A navigation bar on the right may be easy to overlook by a casual user. Severity: Minor Requirements for Improvement: Relocate the navigation bar to where users tend to pay more attention to, such as the left side or upper side. Design Dimension: Presentation Source Heuristics: Macro Areas - Position of Importance Reference Scenario: N/A

5. SEMIOTICS
5.1 ERROR RECOVERY
Problem Description/Characterization:

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Beyond a basic textual message, the user should have additional context making them more conscious in their ability to recover from errors within the system Examples: Below shows two different error pages, neither of which allow the user to easily recover from the error they received.

FIGURE 22 ERROR PAGE

What's wrong with this page? How can I go back? Is it me or the website? Severity: Major Requirements for Improvement: Every section of the website should have a generic error page that at a minimum identifies the error, states it‟s not the users fault and provide them at minimum an option to navigate either 1.) Back to the page they were just previously at or 2.) Return to the IPS homepage. Design Dimension: Semiotics Source Heuristics: Semiotics: Information Scent Reference Scenario: N/A

5.2 MISLABELED PAGES

Problem Description/Characterization: Reading the page heading does not intuitively allow the user know they are on the page they navigate to. Because of this, users may don‟t know where they are. Moreover, the title is important for users to judge whether the information they are finding is within this page. Because of the mismatch between content and title, the user may miss the information within the page. Example 1: The page labeled with the phrase “About Us” when in fact the user clicked on the “Contact Us” link.

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FIGURE 23 ABOUT US

“About Us” mislabeled should state “Contact Us” as the link identifies Example 2: The webpage is not given the right title. This is a webpage of school report. However the No Child Left Behind with no relation to the content webpage is given as the main title this page.

FIGURE 24 “NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND” MISLABLED

Where can I get No Child left Behind information? None of these links take me there. Severity: Major Requirements for Improvement: Update headings and labels to match the navigational text users click elsewhere in the site.

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Design Dimension: Semiotics Source Heuristics: Semiotic Actions – Ambiguity Reference Scenario: Scenario 11

5.3 INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION
Problem Description/Characterization: The information provided within specific topic is too rough and incomprehensive to support it. The user may fail to finish his/her task with lack of information. Examples: This is a page proving general information about the IPS. However, this page lacks both a fax number and email address as alternate forms of contact that users may prefer.

FIGURE 25 CONTACT INFORMATION

Can't find fax and email information from contact information. Severity: Major Requirements for Improvement: This page along with the phone directory should be combined so all information can be retrieved from a single location. Additionally, the information should contain the physical address, email address, phone and fax number. Ideal if a user does not have email a webbased form solution should be include that would allow users to send a message and have instructions on how to be contacted in return. Design Dimension: Semiotic Source Heuristics: Semiotic– Generality Reference Scenario: Scenario 11

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Recommendations for Improvement
As you have read, our team has discovered many specific usability issues of the IPS site. In each of the analyses, our team has presented problem, examples, severity, improvements, category of design, heuristic, and scenario of reference. These all are usually with respect to a specific scenario or situation in which we investigated. There are many times, however, in which many of these specific situational findings show patterns that introduce a wider-ranged problem that could be addressed to solve multiple usability issues. One such recommendation is with regards to the consistency of information. Recognizing that the IPS website contains and publishes a breadth of information, we have identified many points, throughout our investigation, that present similar information in an inconsistent manner. There are specific examples listed in the analyses above, however, this fix is more of a thoughtprocess fix during the design phase. As the user attempts to find information quickly, they tend to reflect on what has worked before. If they found information about a specific item in a category in a certain distinct location, they would expect to find that same type of item in the same distinct location for any category they look at. Any site should push the user away from confusion as much as possible. A big piece of this happens with the navigation. Within the IPS site, navigation is one of our primary areas of concern. More specifically, backwards navigation is of dire need in this site. The user needs a way of consistently and accurately going back to the page they originally came from. While this is extremely important for internal sites, it must also be incorporated for links to external sites as well. Anytime the user is navigated away from the familiarity of the site they have been at and chosen to be at, confusion will arise. One reason for this is because of their mental map. As the user was progressing through the IPS site, they were developing a mental map, which allowed them to feel a sense of comfort in the confines of the site itself. When navigated to a completely different server which looks and feels nothing like the IPS site itself, the users will attain some confusion as to their map not fitting the territory they are currently at.

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Also, in relation to the users mental map and ability of the user to go back is the necessity of the user to know where they are at any given time in the site. As discussed earlier, the user‟s mental map is what gives them a sense of comfort with a familiar site. One reason for this is because the user knows where they are in relation to other landmarks of the website. When dealing with a small site consisting of a few pages, it is completely fine to rely on this mental map. However, due to the depth and breadth of the IPS site, the user needs some cues that can assist with this. Without these cognitive cues presented by the website, the user may get confused when trying to get back to a place they came from or once were. The user should know where they are in the website, compared to other landmarks, at any given time. Navigation, as mentioned before, was one of our primary areas of concern when investigating the IPS site. A consistent issue we found was with the confusion elicited from an overload of navigation. There were times when navigation was presented for items that really didn‟t need navigation. This can lead the user down a dangerous trail of assumption. The user may assume that the links in the page/topic navigation section are related to the current page. The user may also get confused when too much navigation is presented in an inconsistent format. For example, four different areas of navigation within a site, presented all at once, are simply too much for a user to understand while still trying to enjoy the site. Navigation that structures the users visit by not only guiding the user, but also facilitating in the users mentalmap-making process will help the user enjoy their visit.

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APPENDIX
A. SITEMAP

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B. INTERVIEW OF SCHOOL CORPORATION WEBSITE
What do you expect to find?
The purpose of the following information is to obtain user goals and expectations of what is most important to users of a school corporation website. The following are conversations conducted with teachers, parents and community members.

Simone […] – Interview held August 30, 2010
Characteristics     Occupation: Middle School Teacher Age: 30 Computer Literacy: Highly Literate Children in School: none

When asked “What you would expect to see on a school website”:          Navigate the website easily HR link / Job Opportunities Pro/Cons – Statistics School Culture / Involvement of Staff / Administration / Teachers and administrators Bio's Events Professional Development opportunities School Calendar Student Achievement is Key

Amin […] - Discussion held September 2, 2010:
Characteristics     Occupation: Web/Application Developer Age: 55 Computer Literacy: Highly Literate Children in School: two

When asked “What you would expect to see on a school website”:           View student profile View Student Schedules and/or Curriculum Grade Book online posting of grades/homework etc. Extracurricular activity availability Events Teach bio Security policy Bus Maps/Stops Red/Yellow/Green & hotline number for school status School incidents 36

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Pam […] - Discussion held September 2, 2010:
Characteristics     Occupation: Software Architect Age: 60+ Computer Literacy: Literate Children in School: none

When asked “What you would expect to see on a school website”:   Course Curriculums Security o Cost associated with schooling (additional special programs) o Extra-Curricular Activities o Sports o Music o Other Programs Statistical information o Test Scores o Teacher 2 Student Ratios o Graduation Rate o Students attending college Facility Characteristics of Schools o Computers o Library o Cafeteria o Medical Facilities

Parent #1
What would you go to your school districts website for?       Sports Schedules for different schools Activity Schedule Calendar Directions to different schools Announcements Homework per Teacher

How often would you access it?  5 – 10 times per week

Parent #2
What would you go to your school districts website for?   Forms Schedules 37

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     

Links to web based applications o Scholastic Grades Sports profile Extracurricular Schedules Announcements Spirit Wear

How often would you access it?  2/3 times per week

Parent # 3
What would you go to your school districts website for?       Calendar o With specification to select specific types from a group Sports Pay for Lunch for different grades of students Directions Superintendent notes Lunch Schedules

How often would you access it?  N/A

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C. SCENARIO BASED INSPECTION
* Scenario-based Inspection Scenario #1: Parent --User Profile: mother with a daughter of 11

Goal #1: Do research to decide the middle school for her child  Find the list of all schools: Schools > Middle Schools Or (Home > Parent > School I > School) Look at the detail of each school: Schools > Middle Schools > click school name > School website > backward for many time of the explorer to go back to the school‟s description page > All school, go back to school list. a. No way to go back to the list of schools if she wants to see other schools. b. Some items under School Details are hyperlinks and some are not, but all of them look the same that they are just static text. c. Items under Schools Details are put on the right side that seems unimportant and difficult to notice, while they are the most valuable information of this page.] d. No way to go back from the Schools Website to Schools Details e. Leads confusion that it jumps to the school‟s website because of the different visual style, the label name of School website, and the unobvious IPS logo. f. The user may easily forget which schools she has read and which school she hasn‟t, as the appearance of the hyperlinks tabbed before are not varied from the un-tabbed ones.  What‟s the official evaluation of that school: Schools > Schools Detail Report > click school name for report a. The page title is No Child Left Behind, which doesn‟t match the content of the page and confusing. b. The school‟s report page is on another website, however, there is no tips telling the users they are leaving the IPS website. c. No ways go back from the school‟s report.

Goal #2: Get information from her daughter’s school:  Find the schools calendar: Schools > Middle Schools > click the school name > School website > General Information > Calendar a. Not enough clue indicating that the calendar is buried under the School website. b. Though the School website of each school has the same information architecture, the interface layout varies from each other (e.g. The Calendar is placed in different position in different schools.). The user needs to find it every time when they click different schools. c. The list of school is long with no search feature or filter feature. The user needs

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a long time to scan the list and easy to miss the target school.

Goal #3: Get up to date with the IPS news  Find the general announcement of IPS: Click the headlines on Homepage > Home, go back a. The Home link is on the right with no emphasis, which is not obvious enough.

Display All Headlines > click the title of the announcements > Home, go back a. Lack of the date of the announcement. b. The Home link is on the right with no emphasis, which is not obvious enough to the user.

Scenario #2: Potential job seeker --User Profile: A graduate student in science

Goal #1: Get general information of the community
 Get general introduction of the community: About IPS > Culture Imperatives; About IPS > General Information; About IPS > Partnership a. The navigation bar in Partnership is empty and cannot get to other parallel topics.

What are the resources in this community: Community > Local Resources; Schools > Local Resources

Goal #2: Select the potential school she is going to work
 What are the schools in IPS: Schools > High Schools > click the school name > School website > back to the list to see another school a. (Same problems as Scenario #1 Task #1) How is the neighborhood around the potential school: Schools > High Schools > click the school name > Boundary map a. Not enough information introducing the neighborhood around the school.

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Scenario #3: Staff (Non-Faculty) --User Profile: A member of the IT staff who works within the district for different schools. The staff member is a female in her mid-thirties with one child who attends school in another school district. She has been employed by the district for 3 years and focuses mainly on the network infrastructure of the district’s 7 schools (4 Elementary, 2 Middle, and 1 High).

Goal #1: The user wants to access the employee handbook, or any other method, from her home to view the proper procedure for reporting her absence to work due to her child’s illness.
  Find the Employee Handbook: Home > Staff > Human Resources a. Does not exist Find a Phone Number to Report her Absence: Home > Staff > Human Resources > Staff g. The user may not know who to call for her specific inquiry. h. The inner tabs to get to this point are not consistent a. If the user was on another page and desired to access the staff directory for human resources, they would not be able to find this page i. There is not access to other phone numbers. The user may feel the need to find another number (perhaps of a fellow teacher) who could assist her as a peer.

Goal #2: The user was not able to make it to the last school board meeting due to her daughter’s illness, and needs to know what topics were discussed to see if any affect her work. There have been some recent decisions made by the school board that could affect day-to-day operations of the user.
 Find Recent News from the School: Home > Display All Headlines a. Although the headlines are listed on the first page, they seem like they are static links that don‟t change. This could confuse the user or make them to look past this area. b. There are a wide range of categories that could be organized better to allow the user to skim through and find what they are looking for. c. There should be a news section for each intended user (i.e. parents, staff, students, etc…). Read Superintendent Notes: Home > Superintendents Blog a. The blog does not say when it was updated which would help the user find her information quickly and also ensure the user that they have the most valid information b. It is not clear whom the superintendent is addressing.

Scenario #4: Casual User not affiliated with IPS

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A casual user is a community member that does not have a child attending an Indianapolis Public School. They are typically middle-age to senior citizens who have basic computer knowledge. They typically read the newspaper, but were told that they can access IPS specific information related to events and community resources (i.e. self-development programs and/or activities available in the community). Goal #1: The user wants to find when and where local sporting events are taking place.
 Locate Sports Events: Home > Events > Sports a. Does not exist, user must go to each specific schools website (Home > Schools > High Schools > School Website > Events or Sports) * Not every school list sports or events ** Cannot determine which school has which sports *** Little to no consistency between school websites when it comes to events

Goal #2: The user would like to know what opportunities IPS has for making donations or what self-development opportunities might exist for continued adult education
 Locate resources for self-development: Home > Community a. Community section at first glance appears to be focused towards the business community. b. User must access the “Local Resources / State Resources / State Universities” in a sub-navigation menu before they are presented with a list of potential programs and/or resources. c. Local and State resources provide a brief explanation of each item listed along with a link to the location. State Universities just list the university with link and no description of existing opportunities for self-development. Locate /Learn how to donate to IPS: Home > Community > Giving Back a. Does not exist currently. Through performing a search some documentation does mention donations, however, no formal instructions or documentation is provided.

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D. SCENARIOS
1, 2, 3 Stakeholder: Parent Goal: Do research to decide the middle school for her child Task 1: Find the list of all schools Located Schools then Middle Schools, however, there are no locations or maps. Additionally, some community schools include middle schools which was not evident on the website Task 2: Look at the detail of each school When I click the link of each middle school I am taken to another page where basic and sometimes incomplete information is listed. To find out additional information I can either go to a separate school website or see some text which appears to provide very basic statistics on the school. Mixed in with the text are URLs, which blend in and are not clearly identifiable Task 3: What‟s the official evaluation of that school? Again on the sublevel navigation within that schools website I am forced to click a link which takes me to an outside website that does not have any consistent look or feel and representative information is skewed across the webpage. Also page takes me directly to the outside site and requires me to use the browser back button to go back to IPS's website Goal: Get information from her daughter‟s school Task 4: Find the schools calendar Initially I went to the Quick links off of the home page where there was a link to Calendars; however, quickly I saw that this didn't pertain to a student‟s school calendar. From there I had to go to schools, then middle schools and then pick a school and between schools there was no consistency to where the calendar was located and to the information contain on the calendar section Goal: Get up to date with the IPS news Task 5: Find the general announcement of IPS The home page provides two sections on the homepage: 1.) banner that changes every few seconds and 2.) the headlines section. I can also click into headlines to see more headlines,

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however, 6, 7, 8, 9 Stakeholder: Potential Job Seeker

I

cannot

find

meeting

minutes

or

past

announcements on the website easily

Goal: Get general information of the community Task 6: Get general introduction of the community I could not find specific data on the community such as crime data, transportation information (other than students), etc. Under the community section there were resources (i.e. local resources) that did show sites of interest, but was very limited and did not provide information about the specific locations and/or ratings Task 7: What are the resources in this community. Again I could not find much information. At first glance the community link was geared towards business and not individuals, which required me to take a deeper dive into the links. Under the community section there were resources (i.e. local resources) that did show sites of interest, but was very limited and did not provide information about the specific locations and/or ratings Goal: Select the potential school she is going to work Task 8: What are the schools in IPS This was easy to find through the school link, however, I was faced with the issue of not having a clear indication of where the school was located in proximity to the city Goal: Select the potential school she is going to work Task 9: How is the neighborhood around the potential school No data was found

10, 11 12, 13 Stakeholder: Staff (Non-Faculty) Goal: The user wants to access the employee handbook, or any other method, from her home to view the proper procedure for reporting her absence to work due to her child‟s illness. Task 10: Find the Employee Handbook

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Was unable to locate an employee handbook. I utilized the search functionality and was only able to find student handbooks. Task 11: Find a Phone Number to Report her Absence I was able to locate a corporation phone directory off the main home page. In addition I was able to locate individual school telephone numbers from the school page linked off the home page. Goal: The user was not able to make it to the last school board meeting due to her daughter‟s illness, and needs to know what topics were discussed to see if any affect her work. There have been some recent decisions made by the school board that could affect day-to-day operations of the user. Task 12: Find Recent News from the School Same as Task 5 Task 13: Find Recent News from the School From the homepage I was able to simply click a linked image to view the Superintendents blog, which contains information relevant to the school corporation

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E. USER PROFILES
The Indianapolis Public School district in Indianapolis, Indiana is the school corporation that educates students in central Indianapolis area. The “doughnut” districts (Pike, Washington, Lawrence, Warren, Franklin, Perry, Decatur and Wayne) provide education to the remainder of Indianapolis children. IPS provides education for over thirty-three thousand students ranging from Kindergarten up to the twelfth grade. The children of the IPS district vary in age, ranging from five (Kindergarten) to nineteen (Twelfth Grade). IPS educates both male and female students, with and without disabilities, from a wide array of backgrounds. The ethnic makeup of IPS students is consisted of Black (55%), White (23%), Hispanic (16%), Multicultural (5%), Asian and Native American (totaling 1%). Students in IPS may also be enrolled in Gifted (6%) and Special Education (18%) programs. Because of the wide array of backgrounds some students may have a limited English proficiency (12%) in their classrooms. To emphasize the movement of students transferring in and out of the IPS district, we note the mobility rate at 70% for a year. Children in IPS classrooms generally utilize computers about once to twice a week, at a minimum. This interaction can be influenced, however, with the mobility rate at such a high level. The students may have transferred from a school corporation that did not utilize computers as much or utilized computers more often than IPS. Most of the IPS children live with their parents or grandparents. Caretaker‟s ages can range from twenty-two to over fifty-five. Some students live in a two parent household while others may live with a single parent or grandparent. In single parent households, the number of students living with only their mother (63%) greatly outweighs the number of students living only with their fathers (9%) or with a grandparent (3%). As the parents and grandparents get older, limitations may occur incurring some forms of sight and hearing limitations; though we emphasize that this is not always the case but more probabilistic for older parents/grandparents. The parents usually share the demographic background of their children and have usually attained either a high school and/or college degree. The comfort of use of computers and technology can vary greatly with parents of IPS students. The staff and faculty of IPS include teachers, maintenance workers, administrative personnel, substitute teachers, coaches, librarians, teacher‟s assistants, school police, and others on the schools payroll. The ages of faculty and staff at IPS can range from 23 to over 60. IPS has both male and female faculty and staff with high school and college degree backgrounds. Internally, IPS uses computers and the web for many personnel tasks. There are over two thousand, four hundred teachers and over four thousand staff members employed by the IPS Corporation.

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IPS is not just the provider of education to central Indianapolis students. It is the largest school corporation in the city of Indianapolis. Due to its high availability and integral part in raising youth in Indianapolis, the community as a whole may take interest in learning about what IPS has to offer. The Indianapolis community is comprised of men (48.4%) and women (51.6%), also from a wide array of backgrounds. Other student-aged (25.7%) and parent-aged (55.9%) members of the community can gain access to information about IPS. In Indianapolis, the number of foreign-born (4.6%) and number of households that speak languages other than English at home (7.3%) comprise a considerable portion of the population. Residents of Indianapolis typically have a high school diploma (81.3%) or a Bachelors/Masters/Ph.D. degree (25.4%). Environmental Considerations Many parents have computers with Internet access at home. This is a comfortable, safe, and relaxing atmosphere for them to browse the IPS website. The parents who do not have access to a computer or Internet at home, and do wish to access the IPS website, may do so by accessing it through a public computer (such as a coffee shop, library, school, etc…) or from their places of work. There are some forms on the site with critical and personal information that parents may not want stored on a public computer. Also, with the increase in use of public computers, there is an increase in likelihood of shoulder surfing to occur. While the parents will not generally browse the site with others, parents should be on the lookout for people around them, watching what they type. This rains true not only for parents, but the community as a whole. If members of the Indianapolis community wish to browse the web, they may do so from a multitude of different mediums such as home computers, public computes, and mobile devices. Faculty and staff may access the page from home, like the parents, but will also have access to the IPS page from their designated schools. They also may use public computes, but not as much as the parents of the students may. As opposed to parents, it is more likely that faculty and staff will browse the website socially, with other coworkers. Access to the site for faculty and staff from school should not hinder on their obligations to the school, running the risk of putting students and others at risk. Student‟s access to the site and use of their computers should usually be under adult supervision. The parent and the student can browse the pages together in a comfortable setting. Usually, this will occur at home but depends heavily on where the parent accesses the site. Older students may access the site from school, home, or a public place by themselves.

F. USER CHARACTERISTICS
 Parents o Age 47

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  

 22 – 50 Gender/Household  Two-Parent  Single Parent  Mother Only: 63%  Father Only: 9%  Grandparent: 3% Physical Limitations o Able Bodied o Sight Limitations o Hearing Limitations Educational Background o High School o College Computer Use o May vary greatly Staff/Faculty o Age  23 – 60 o Gender  Male  Female o Physical Limitations  Able Bodied  Sight Limitations  Hearing Limitations o Educational Background  High School  College o Computer Use  May vary greatly  Moderate/Intermediate most likely Students o Age  5 – 19 o Gender  Male  Female o Ethnicity (May Impact Parents As Well)  Black: 55%  White: 23%  Hispanic: 16%  Multicultural: 5%  Asian/Native American: 1% o Limitations (May Impact Parents As Well)  Able Bodied  Gifted: 6%  Special Education: 18%  Limited English Proficiency: 12%  Mobility: 70% o

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[(New Student Entries + Withdraws)/ Opening Day Enrollment] o Educational Background  N/A o Computer Use  Moderate Community o Age  Under Five: 7.4%  Under Eighteen: 25.7%  Eighteen to Sixty-Five: 55.9%  Over Sixty-Five: 11% o Gender  Male: 48.4%  Female: 51.6% o Limitations  Able Bodied  Foreign Born: 4.6%  Language Other than English spoken at home: 7.3%  Sight Limitations  Hearing Limitations o Educational Background  High School Graduate: 81.3%  Bachelors or Higher: 25.4%

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G. SYNOPSIS
Dimension
Content

Title
Missing and Inconsistent Information

Severity Recommendation
Major 1.) Establish a Content Review Board 2.) Notify the user of missing/incomplete Information and when it will be updated 1.) Establish a checklist used by the Content Review Board to ensure any new information added accounts for all targeted audiences. 1.) Establish a checklist used by the Content Review Board that ensures a thorough review of the content detecting any missing or inconsistent representation of the information 1.) Ensure dates are captured and identified on items that have relevance around a date/time. 1.) Incorporate search for school feature based on, but not limited to, address, zip code, and distance from, etc. 2.) Allow users to sort based on primary attributes (i.e. distance from home) 3.) Consider using existing free products like Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, or Bing Maps. 1.) Ensure clear separation of information by user type, only combining when necessary. 2.) Consider grouping lengthy data into separate pages utilizing a grouplanding page as the source of navigation. 1.) Keep track of the users browsing. Provide links back to each previous page the user navigates through the hierarchical site structure.

Content

Target User Misidentified

Major

Content

Consistency of Information and Representation

Minor

Content

When was the News New

Minor

Information Architecture Visualizations of School Proximity

Major

Information Architecture Too Much Minor Information Accommodating Too Many People

Information Architecture No Way Back

Major

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Information Architecture Where am I

Major

1.) Highlight the current location within existing navigation links. 2.) Consider using breadcrumbs to emphasize the user‟s location. 1.) Ensure links match the content and remove any unrelated ones. Examine the arrangement of the navigation to make sure they clearly represent the structure of the website. 1.) Develop an area for main content to be displayed to the user. This should summarize the site and what the site represents. 1.) After a time group information by date relevancy. 1.) Use proper formatting ensuring consistency between text and links 1.) Minimize navigational areas. The site should contain 1 primary navigational area and 1 secondary navigational area where justified. 1.) Identify outside site references. 2.) Notify the user before leaving the site or open the outside page reference in a new window. 1.) Provide general school searching that identifies parameters that can be selected to refine the results. 1.) Identify current location

Information Architecture Unrelated Navigation

Major

Information Architecture Homepage Without Main Content (Homeless Homepage) Information Architecture Archiving

Minor

Minor

Navigation

Undistinguishable Major Links Too Much Navigation Major

Navigation

Navigation

No Indication Leaving the Website Provide Choices Without Decision Information Users Don't Know Where They Are Inconsistent Font Sizes, Weights & Decoration: Hyperlinks

Major

Navigation

Major

Presentation

Major

Presentation

Major

1.) Refining the design of the website ensuring consistent look and feel across pages. Pay careful attention to headers, links and general layout.

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Presentation

Mixed Representation of Information and Linked Files Inconsistent Design of Sub Domains Deemphasizing Position of Important Menus

Major

1.) Use linked files to support existing content, do not rely on them to provide all new information. 1.) Ensure consistent logos and headers are used throughout the website 1.) Ensure navigation location is consistent and easy to access. Top and left sides of the webpage align with most user expectations on where navigation should be located. 1.) Incorporate more meaningful error recovery to the user. 2.) If an error occurs, the user should be able to recover by going back to the previous page or homepage. 1.) Ensure labels are consistent with the content identified by the heading 1.) Establish a checklist used by the Content Review Board that ensures a thorough review of the content detecting any missing or inconsistent representation of the information 2.) Combine like information.

Presentation

Minor

Presentation

Minor

Semiotics

Error Recovery

Major

Semiotics Semiotics

Mislabeled Pages Insufficient Information

Major Major

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H. SUMMARIZATIONS OF RECOMMENDATIONS ’
Establish a Content Review Board / Check list Search Feature or visualizing school location Information Architecture           Content            

General

To review information completeness and update Incorporate search for school feature: zip code, address, distance from home Separate information clearly by user type Grouping lengthy data into separate pages Keep track of the users browsing Only keep the necessary navigation within the page Links match content Labels match content Navigation clearly represent the structure of the website Meaningful Error Recovery Home page: Welcome user and generally introduce the website Text and Links Consistent Look and Feel Navigation Location: easy to access Highlight Current Location Alert to External Site Notify Missing Information Archiving Date Identification General School Searching Sorting by primary attributes Able to recover error by going to the previous page

Navigation

Design Semiotics

Presentation Consistency

Feedback of Current Status

Technical

Time of the Information

Searching Feature

Error Recovery

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REFERENCES
Mobility Rate definition http://tusdstats.tusd.k12.az.us/planning/profiles/mobility/mob_route.asp Student‟s information http://mustang.doe.state.in.us/SEARCH/snapcorp.cfm?corp=5385 http://www.about.ips.k12.in.us/index.php?id=3058 Community http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/18/1836003.html

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