Enhancing Website Usability: University of Utah - Department of Psychology Website Redesign
AbstractIn the spring of 2016 the University of Utah Department of Psychology began a project to enhance the usability of its website. A process of iterative design was used to improve the primary modalities of usability by focusing on the specific website components of design, content, structure, and functionality. Through the development and use of a standardized usability testing protocol, participants were asked about their website use and preferences, their subjective rating of website components, and were tested on their ability to successfully complete 10 tasks on the website. Using a voice recorder and visual observation this data was later analyzed to identify patterns of preference, use, expectation, and subjective user satisfaction. In this 3rd iteration of improvement, website component ratings remained high (3 or above on a scale of 1 being poor 5 being great), and the task pathway success rates, averaging 88% or higher, appeared effective and consistent with previous industry research. Along with explicitly stated participant recommendations, patterns from the usability testing were used to create a list of recommendations that may be implemented to further enhance website usability. Finally, a simple, efficient, and effective program of maintenance and control was presented that will help the website remain current and usable for years to come.Keywords: usability, human factors, web design, iterative design, Lean Six Sigma
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