Tag: usability testing

Website Deathmatch - What I Learned by Choosing My NCAA Winners Based on Websites (MCS1)

There are a variety of techniques for picking the NCAA winners. Some choose their favorite colors, the underdog, or even use actual basketball stats.  For the past two years, Pipe has picked her bracket based on the main university websites, using a specific set of criteria for evaluating each website. Pipe will walk through her process, and share what she learned about the current state of web design in Higher Ed along the way. You might be surprised by the winners. Attendees will also discover methods for evaluating university websites, successful ways to implement common university web tasks, and the state of web design in Higher Education.

Let's face it: We're not sixteen anymore (UAD2)

We tend to assume that everyone looks at web pages in the same way, but high school students have a perspective which differs in some important ways from our insider view as adults embedded in higher-ed. As a result, we're inadvertently sending messages to our prospective students that we don't intend to send. As part of a redesign process, Carleton's web team repeatedly tested their home page and those of the school's peers with randomly-selected college-bound high school students, and the results staggered school officials. Their responses to photos, word choices, design treatments, and common home page elements were consistent, but often at odds with our expectations. Come learn about Carleton's research process, our surprising results, and the unexpected design and content choices the audience led the school to make.

Prototyping with WordPress: No coding required (UAD6)

WordPress is a powerful CMS but it can also be used to build fully functional prototypes. Headway theme’s drag and drop visual editor allows you to create and experiment with different layouts including fixed width and responsive designs. Use the prototypes to collect feedback, test for usability and improve your design on the fly; or clone it to test multiple variations of the same design. Being on a web server, you only need a web browser to edit, share and collaborate on your prototypes. You don’t need to know any PHP. Knowledge of HTML and CSS is helpful but not required. Here’s the best part: once you are finished, your prototype doesn’t go to waste. If you choose WordPress as CMS, you can simply modify your prototype to build the final website. If not, you can still use CSS generated by the theme. Join us to learn a simple and quick prototyping tool using a recent project as an example. Using a real project as an example, learn how to: - Use visual editor to build a grid based layout from scratch - Apply custom CSS styles - Reusing layouts, blocks and styles for different sections of the website - Export layouts to create multiple prototypes for the same project

Try before you buy: user experience testing in your RFP process can save you time and money (UAD8)

Learn how user experience testing can save your university money, reputation and headaches. This session will cover the University of Minnesota’s efforts to incorporate user feedback into the software purchasing process. The session will cover several use cases that illustrate the considerations and challenges faced by teams at UMN making major software investments, and will show how user feedback helped those teams make data-driven decisions, avoid choosing the wrong tool, and prepare for the tools’ rough edges ahead of rollout. You wouldn’t dream of buying a car without taking a few options for a test drive. Why would you spend what could be millions of dollars on a software solution for your campus without taking the opportunity to test it?

Cardsorting for Humanities: Context in Usability Testing (UAD11)

When developing websites for students, faculty, and researchers, it can be easy to think that we have all the answers. That all we need to do is pair what we think the solution is with what we think the problem is, and we’re good to go. So why we do we get it so wrong so often? Why do so many academic web projects fail to have an impact, to meet the goals and needs of the site’s users? This sessions will explore how usability testing techniques can provide the context we need to avert this kind of mismatch, borrowing a bit from a recent Kickstarter game to demonstrate how things can down the wrong path (even with the best of intentions). Sometimes we celebrate the worst possible interpretation when conducting user testing, simply by seeing only what we want to see. Knowing how to iterate, how to test, and how to use your user input is key. Otherwise, we're really just making assumptions, aren't we? And you know how that game ends.