But Can Users Find It?: Investigating the Navigation Usability of a School System's Information Website

Alexander, Nicholas
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Website usability studies are a widely used procedure to assess a user-centered design by testing a website with its target audience. Usability studies provide a valuable insight into the thought process of website users, but due to the time and effort it takes to perform, usability tests are not pervasive in school-created websites. The usability study conducted for this paper was designed to investigate the navigation usability of a simulated, school-created system's information website designed for school teachers. The goal of the study was to create a more intuitive, user-friendly website that would be adopted by school faculty and staff. This usability study, which was held via Google+ Hangouts, and recorded with QuickTime, assessed participants’ perceptions of the website while completing specific tasks. Upon completing the study, participants filled out an attitudinal survey which assessed the scenarios in the study, as well as provided an additional method of voicing proposed improvements to the navigation of the website. The study, which was conducted in two rounds with a revision period between them, revealed navigational flaws in the designed website and provided guidance in improving the website for future users. Increased user ratings after evaluating initial user ratings and implementing suggested website improvements suggest that usability testing for school information websites can prove beneficial for its users.
The purpose of this usability study was to investigate navigation improvements to this simulated school system's information website designed for high school teachers. Moreover, the goal of this usability study was to identify and implement improvements to the simulated school system's information website based on data collected throughout the two rounds of usability testing. This project was done in partial fulfillment for a master's degree in Educational Technology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
usability, website, intranet
Alexander, N. (2014, April 24). But can users find it?: Investigating the navigation usability of a school system's information website. PowerPoint presented at the 19th Annual Technology, Colleges, and Community Online Conference.
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