Last week we held a user testing session on our initial website wireframes. With 10 participants at the session, we were able to test the wireframes across desktops, tablets and mobiles, giving us an insight into how the website would perform across all devices.
The participants were recruited through our Open Learning Centre, and as such they had a range of technical ability. Some had come from a course about learning to use an iPad, whilst others were recruited from our ‘English language café’ where they attend to improve their English. Others were from an IT open session, and had more of an understanding about how to use a computer. This gave us a wide range of participant skill level which helped us check whether the site would be usable for a variety of customers.
As this was our first in-person user testing for the re-development, we were all pretty nervous about how it would be received. Thankfully, it all went off fairly well and we got some great positive feedback that proves that the path we are on is the right one.
Examples of feedback include:
“Very clear website”
“Straight to topic”
“Good to have all the key information near the top of the homepage”
However, the testing wasn’t all positive and it did highlight several issues with the website that we will need to consider how to resolve.
The 3 main usability problems which everyone had were:
- The “More Services” button is not visible enough. Most of our participants couldn’t find it without prompting.
- Most participants expected to find “register a birth” under “family information”.
- Most participants struggled to find local news.
It was also really interesting to see that no one used the main drop down menu. As such, the users testing the mobile version could not find “My account” button because it was hidden in the drop down.
Having carried out this initial wireframe testing, we will now hold some internal testing with some of our councillors and staff. This should help us double check the issues raised through the customer testing.