Katharine Carr
UX Professional

AboutFace.org

Usability Research

 

Overview

Project Objective

A website featuring testimonial videos about veterans with PTSD requested that we complete user testing on their redesigned site. Based on the goals of the site, my partner and I developed a test and performed eight usability testing sessions. We analyzed our results and developed five main recommendations for the client.

My Role: I completed five user testing sessions, each about 40 minutes long and analyzed the data with my teammate. I used Axure to develop the wireframes for our recommended revisions to the site, and designed the presentation for the client.

Deliverables: Testing results and presentation to the client with suggested revisions 

Key Tools/Methods: 

  • Axure
  • User Testing
  • Zoom (remote testing/conference/recording tool)

Date: Fall 2016

View the full presentation, or view the case study below.


Case Study

User Research

The users of AboutFace.org are primarily veterans suffering with PTSD, as well as their friends and families. The site is also for doctors, chaplains, or therapists who might suggest the site as a therapy tool. Finding people to participate was the hardest part of the study. Once we were able to find people that were willing to help us, we used Zoom to perform the testing sessions and record all of the participant's movements.

The participants in our study showed us that AboutFace.org's audience was varied in age and computer literacy. The study also showed that the different types of users had different concerns — friends and family had different needs than the veterans themselves.

Performing Usability Testing

We developed a series of tasks for participants based on our review of the site and where we thought users would have trouble. Based on the goals of the site, we developed tasks for users to complete during the test. We wrote a script to read before each session that explained what would happen during the test, and then collected basic demographic information from the participant. My partner and I used Zoom to record all of the participant's movements during the test. We transcribed all eight sessions, re-watching videos to catch anything we missed. We took note of anything that seemed remarkable or odd, and kept a record of which participants had which problems, then calculated how frequently these problems were occurring. Together we narrowed down the results to focus on five recommendations.

Recommendations

Our recommendations were based on how often users hit a barrier, and how severe that barrier was to their use of the site. We presented five main recommendations to solve the barriers we observed. We proposed a revision to the header navigation, a revised search and filter function, a revised “Get Help” page, and other revisions that kept the user from overlooking valuable content included on the site. I used Axure to develop the wireframes for our recommended revisions to the site.

Takeaway

I enjoyed interviewing and testing the users much more than I thought I would. It was so interesting to see where people would get stuck in the site, and surprising to see where people ran into trouble navigating through it. Analyzing the data was very interesting too — seeing patterns emerge and being able to share that with the client made our recommendations that much more impactful.