As part of a website redesign process and before implementing any changes in the CMS, a credit union wanted to do usability testing on the wireframes. For this project, I worked on the initial user research, the information architecture, wireframes, and conducting the usability testing. The usability testing portion of the project proved challenging and interesting.
For the test, we followed a relatively straightforward process.
- Testing goals: At the start of any project, it’s important to find out what the goals of the project are. We started with reviewing and setting goals to ensure our test plan could help support these goals. The goals included: determine how easily users can navigate the site; find inconsistencies and problems within the design; determine user satisfaction.
- Test plan & script: The test plan detailed tasks for navigation, comprehension, and their impression of the content and flow. The test plan detailed the different types of participants needed; this included credit union members and nonmembers. We wanted these different participant types so we could ensure the new website appealed to both audiences.
- Recruitment: Working with a recruitment company, we developed a recruitment screener to target the right users.
- Testing: We held the test over two days and had 12 participants. To run the test, we had one facilitator and one notetaker sitting with the participant. We provided a laptop and mouse. As well as the test tasks, we were able to ask for impressions of the credit union. We gathered satisfaction levels from members and asked for impressions from nonmembers.
- Analysis: During the analysis phase, we (the facilitator and notetaker) reviewed the notes and impressions, created a list of issues, and built these issues into larger themes.
- Report: Once all the issues were gathered, I wrote a report so it could be shared not just with the website redesign team but with the marketing team. Since we had gathered opinions and quotes, we wanted to pass along the information. This way we could make the most of the research!
During the testing, we found a number of issues that needed to be fixed in the navigation and wireframes. We found issues such as:
- Information on the information needed to open an account was missing from the website
- The calls to action (CTAs) weren’t strong enough. We changed the text to be stronger and more suited to the scenario.
- In the navigation, we had links that said “All Topics” but these weren’t appealing to users. We took away this link and directed people to the section landing page for all the topics within the section.
- The content for becoming a member didn’t focus on the customer or user benefits and didn’t detail the process of becoming a member. We recommended this be changed to be more customer-focused and to detail the process.
Where appropriate, we were able to update the wireframes and site map. For other items, we passed them onto the marketing and content teams.