Usable?...Or Not?...Factors Affecting the Usability of Web Sites, by Rakhi Rajani and Dr Duska Rosenberg
The Test Situation
In order to address the question of conceptualisation, a web site was developed. This site detailed the findings of research into design techniques and human perception and was developed to incorporate both 'good' and 'bad' design principles.
A variety of usability testing methods were used. The test situation comprised of:
The evaluation methods used were:
The 8 local participants were video and audio taped during the tests and were asked to answer a questionnaire, while the 9 remote participants were assessed by their questionnaire responses and conceptual drawings.
Note: There are problems and gains with the methods used and these were addressed within the study. However, it is not within the scope of this article to detail the issues here.
The issue of conceptualisation was considered with respect to a set of sub questions. These were used as a guide by which the observer could evaluate the participants use of the web site. The broader question of usability was then addressed with relevance to the results of these sub questions that addressed the issues of navigation schemes, appearance versus content, how tasks are structured and how relationships between pages are established etc.