AIA website user testing
Binary Blue was engaged to conduct a comprehensive user test on the Architects Institute of Australia website in the design phase.
Prior to the tests, a wire frame had been developed (composition, look and feel of the home page), with the basic navigation architecture (menu items, labels, content areas) designated. These designs were the outcomes of a number of meetings leading up to the user tests, which included a functional analysis and identification of 18 different user groups.
For the purposes of the user tests, 19 people were selected representing the different user groups
The tests were conducted in three sessions lasting one and a half hour each. The groups for each session were composed of mixed user representatives.
Three tests were conducted in each session.
Users were given the front page website design and asked to provide a list of items that they would expect to find under the main menu labels and content areas.
This test establishes whether a user understands the broad parameters of the menu label, or content area and it also triggers a response that is very useful for the development of content.
Users were given cards of all top level and second level menu labels. In this exercise, they were to place the second level menu items under each of the top-level menu labels. There were 40 sub-menu labels.
This test establishes whether the sub-menu items as devised are logically placed, and whether each label has a clear meaning for the particular user group.
Each user representative was given 5 or so tasks, and asked to locate the appropriate label where they would most likely find the content.
This test establishes more broadly whether when having a search function in mind, they know which label to browse that would reveal the relevant content.
At the end of the “card-sorting” testing processes, there was a general discussion about various aspects of the home page interface design and issues that they encountered with labels and navigation.