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Whitney Olsen 1080 West 6th Street MSC: 693 Moscow, ID 83843 November 4, 2011 Campus Crusade for Christ 100 Lake Hart Drive Orlando, FL 32832 Dear Campus Crusade for Christ: I am writing you to explain what I have discovered about the effectiveness of the Cru Press Green Website. As an assignment for my English 317 Technical Writing class, I was required to chose a website and create a usability test for it. I chose Cru Press Green because I have been involved with Cru for several years and use this site often. In the past, I have experienced problems navigating the website. After creating a usability test for Cru Press Green and collecting data on its effectiveness, I would like to make recommendations on how to improve the site’s overall usability. The test findings reveal that some of the resources are found under confusing categories, the organization of information is not user friendly, and the titles of articles are not relevant. This data suggests that the article titles should be renamed, the resources should be organized under simpler categories, and the search engine should operate on key words in the articles rather than the titles. Creating this usability test has taught me much about how to pinpoint potential problem areas of a website, analyze data, and report findings. This has been a fun learning experience for me. I sincerely hope that my findings and recommendations from this usability test for Cru Press Green will be beneficial to you. The full‐length usability report is included within this letter. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. My phone number is 208‐691‐7991 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for taking into consideration the results of this usability test for Cru Press Green. Sincerely, Whitney Olsen
Usability Test Report: Cru Press Green Website
November 4, 2011
Summary .....................................................................................................................................4 Methodology ..............................................................................................................................4 Results..........................................................................................................................................6 Recommendations ...................................................................................................................7
The purpose of this usability test is to collect data for improving the layout and features of the Cru Press Green website. The test findings reveal that some of the resources are found under confusing categories, the organization of information is not user friendly, and the titles of articles are not relevant. This data suggests that the article titles should be renamed, the resources should be organized under simpler categories, and the search engine should operate on key words in the articles rather than the titles.
The purpose of this usability test is to collect information about the effectiveness of CruPress Green’s website to improve the features by identifying the difficulties users encounter. The issues to be addressed by this usability test: • Can users easily use the search engine? • Can users quickly and easily navigate the resource categories? • Do users think the search engine listings are relevant? • Do users find the article titles to be an accurate description of the content? • Can users find an article in a timely manner? • Can users distinguish between the cru.comm tab and the resource categories tab? Are they aware of the cru.comm tab? The goals of this usability test: • Users will be able to search for and locate a resource in 3 clicks or less. • Users will be able to find a topic in the resource categories in 10 seconds or less. • Users will find related and interesting articles to fit their needs on the search engine. • Users will find that the article titles are an accurate description of the content (at least a 4 out of 5 on a Likert scale). • Users will be able to locate a specific article in 20 seconds or less. • Users will be able to choose the correct tab for their specific resource in 10 seconds or less. Description of Test Environment The usability testing of CruPressGreen.com took place in Moscow, Idaho on the University of Idaho main campus. The specific location was the student computer lab in the basement of the Wallace building. The lab includes multiple PC computers
and printers for public use. The lab is located in a giant room adjacent to the main hangout lounge, but it is separate enough from general traffic and noise that test takers should not experience interruption or distraction. This particular computer lab is ideal for the purposes of this test because it is usually not overcrowded and does not require absolute silence, making it possible for the user and tester to converse easily.
User Profile The typical user of CruPress Green is a leader within the Cru campus ministry organization. There are many subcategories of leaders within Cru that may need to find resources on this site. These subcategories include paid staff members, interns, student leaders, and volunteers. Both genders frequent the website. The website is geared toward college students and staff members, usually ranging between the ages of 18 and 65. For the purposes of this usability test, I found participants that fit the following profile: • Any non‐staff leader within Cru • Age range of 18‐25 • Frequency of visiting site is 0‐5 times a month • Acquainted or familiar with site, but not expert at navigating it The following is a list of the tasks each participant was asked to complete during the test: 1. From the home page, search for the article “Lies Women Believe.” 2. Find a list of resources in the “Community” category. Do not use the search engine. 3. Say you need to find a resource on the concept of “pride” to share with a freshman student you mentor. Use the search engine to find articles on “pride” that would be relevant. 4. Click on the “Apologetics” link in the Resource Categories tab on the right side of the page. Of the 21 articles listed, count how many titles you think are descriptive/informative of the article’s content. 5. From the home page, locate the article “Good Old Grace.” 6. From the home page, find the tab or link that will bring you to the entire Bible study curriculum page. 7. Without using the search engine, find the Ephesians Bible study “The Basic Elements of the Faith.”
Methods of Evaluation: The method for evaluating qualitative data was primarily done through observing the participant as he/she engaged with the computer. I observed the participants’ facial expressions and vocalized comments and recorded any positive or negative responses. I also noticed if the participant moved the computer mouse in a straight, direct path or in an unsure way. The methods for evaluating quantitative data were done through recording the amount of time it took the participant to complete tasks, the number of false starts, the number of successes, and the number of clicks to reach a desired location. The following three forms were used for the test: ‐ Screening Questionnaire ‐ Data Collection Form ‐ Posttest Questionnaire
200 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Q1
Participant 1 Participant 2 Participant 3 Participant 4 Participant 5 Q2 Q3 Q4 Question Q5 Q6 Q7
Figure 1. Response times were fairly consistent among the participants, excluding participant 4. It consistently took over 16 seconds and 4 clicks for all participants to find resources. Participants, on average, took 43 seconds to find a specific tab or link from the home page. Most participants complained about the speed of the website,
especially when used with Internet explorer. Participant 4 said: “This website is so slow!” On average, the participants thought that only 16 of the list of 21 articles listed in the apologetics page had relevant and informative titles. Participant 2 even laughed out loud when she read some of the titles. Overall, the participants were pleased with the quality of the articles; they reported that the articles pleased them and fit their specific needs within Cru. Figure 2 shows the results of the exit questionnaire that all participants filled out. They were asked on a scale of 1 to 5 to rate their experience of the Cru Press Green Website. On the scale, 1 is negative and 5 is positive. The content and resource relevance received high marks while the layout and ease of use were rated much lower.
5 Scale of 1 to 5 4 3 2 1 0 Recommend Features Layout Resource Relevance Ease of Use
These findings suggest that the format of the website be changed to be more user friendly. The articles should be arranged in a more logic way. Participant 4 said: “All of the materials should be found in one place, not 5 different places.” While the search engine was very helpful, the test data reveals that it is difficult to find information by clicking on links. It would be helpful if the search engine would operate more on key words in the articles than on the titles themselves. The test data reveals that many of the titles for articles are not very informative to their content; therefore, I suggest that some articles be renamed. Furthermore, these findings indicate that the bible study curriculum needs to be found under a more
informative tab instead of the existing Cru.comm link. Cru.comm is an ambiguous name and misdirected the users of this website. I suggest that the format and layout of Cru Press Green be revised to improve ease of usability. After revision, there will be a need for future usability testing in order to observe how/if the website was improved.
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