Analysis of Automated Tool Study by chenmeixiu


									Improving the Usability
   of Government
      Web Sites
         InterLab 2004
        October 28, 2004
     Janice R. Nall, GSA
Why Is Usability Important to
Government Online Services?
   The Federal Government is the largest single producer,
    collector, consumer, and disseminator of information in
    the United States.
   Government provides critical information…benefits,
    health info, safety alerts, commerce, education…
   97 million adult Americans, or 77% of Internet users,
    took advantage of e-gov in 2003, whether that meant
    going to government Web sites or emailing government
    officials. This represented a growth of 50% from 2002.
    (Pew Internet in American Life, 2003)
Why Usability Engineering?
   Usability Engineering Works
      It‟s user-centric (not developer-centric).
      It‟s based on data, not opinions.
      It‟s testable and verifiable.
      It‟s performance-driven.
      It saves money and time.
Why Research-based Usability?
   Research-based Information Design Works
      It removes much of the controversy in opinion.
      It‟s performance oriented – measurably
      It takes the guesswork out – allows you to focus on
       what you don‟t know – to solve problems.
      It raises the quality of our design processes, and,
       therefore, our products/services.
Why Usability Matters

   62% of Web shoppers gave up looking for an item.
     (Zona study)
   50% of Web sales are lost because visitors can‟t easily
    find content. (Gartner Group)
   40% of repeat visitors do not return due to a negative
    experience. (Zona study)
   85% of visitors abandon a new site due to poor design.
   Only 51% of sites complied with simple Web usability
    principles. (Forrester study)
Why Usability Matters
Forrester Review of 125 Websites (2003)
    78% failed to provide adequate search results
    66% failed to provide in-depth overview of site
     contents on the home page
    64% ineffectively used space in page layout
    54% were not accessible
    50% used text that was illegible
What Is Usability Engineering?
   An evidence-based methodology that involves end users
    in the design, testing, and evaluation processes to
    produce information systems that are measurably easier
    to use, learn, and remember
   Usability Engineering process involves:
      Data collection about users‟ needs/wants/behaviors
      Prototype development
      Usability testing
      Iterative design and testing
What Is Usability?
   Usefulness
      Degree to which users can successfully achieve goals/complete
   Effectiveness
      Ability of users to accomplish goals with speed & ease
   Learnability
      Ability to operate the system to some defined level of
       competence after some predetermined amount/period of training
   Satisfaction
      Attitude of users, includes perceptions, feelings and opinions of
       the product

      Booth, Paul. An Introduction to Human -Computer Interaction. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1989.
Usability Metrics
    Effectiveness (Ability to successfully accomplish tasks)
      Percentage of goals/tasks completed (success rate)
      Number of errors or wrong paths
      Forces developers to define success

    Efficiency (Ability to accomplish tasks with speed and ease)
      Time to complete a task
      Frequency of requests for help
      Number of times facilitator provides assistance
      Number of times user gives up
Usability Metrics
   Learnability (Ability to learn how to use site and remember it)
     Ratio of successes to failures
     Number of features that can be recalled after the test

   Satisfaction (Pleasing to users)
     Positive and negative ratings on a satisfaction scale
     Percent of favorable comments to unfavorable comments
     Number of good vs. bad features recalled after test
     Number of users who would use the system again
     Number of times users express dissatisfaction or frustration
Usability Objectives
“It has long been said you cannot manage what you cannot
measure. Nowhere is this more true than on the Web –
where examining what works and what doesn‟t directly
affects the bottom line.” (Forrester Research)

Usability objectives must be:
    Determined at the beginning of the project
    Agreed upon by all team members
    Written down; Referred to often
    Measurable
Usability Objectives
Examples of Usability Objectives:
 Two-thirds of test participants (6 of 9) will be able to
complete x% of tasks in the time allotted.
 Participants will be able to complete x% of tasks in 200%
of developer‟s time.
 Participants will be able to complete x% of tasks with no
more than one error per task.
 Two-thirds of test participants (6 of 9) will rate the
system as highly usable on a scale of x to x.
HHS Site:
Baseline vs. Redesign Comparison
Scenario Text                                           Success Rate
                                                        Baseline       Final
                                                        Test           Prototype
You want to find a nursing home for a relative.         38%            88%
You want to know what diabetes is and how you can       73%            94%
prevent it.
You want to know what housing organizations are         13%            94%
available to help assist the homeless in your area.
You want to know what the Fiscal Year 2001 budget       71%            94%
for HHS was.
Your cousin is considering a career in medical          8%             88%
research and asked you if HHS offers financial aid to
undergraduate students.
Average success rate                                    41%            92%
Why Now? Why Me/You?
   Government sites are heavily visited…and will be more
    visited in the future. More visits = more work, questions,
    emails, complaints, calls, etc. if the site isn‟t working.
   Users will begin to see commonality on Federal
    sites…you will be asked to implement additional policies.
   Federal Web developers will be held to higher
    standards…is the site really better or just different…how
    can you prove it?
   You care about your users‟ experiences on your site.
Federal Efforts In Process
   It is essential that Government minimize the Federal paperwork
    burden on the public, minimize the cost of its information activities,
    and maximize the usefulness of government information. (OMB Circular
    A-130, Management of Federal Information Resources)
   Increasing focus on performance, metrics, data to support programs,
    technology, agency mission. (Government Performance and Results Act of
   The Federal Government is in the process of establishing specific
    requirements for Internet-based information technology to enhance
    citizen access to government information and services. (E-Government
    Act of 2002)
        Interagency Committee on Government Information – proposing
         policies on Web content, search/taxonomy, and electronic record-
         keeping (
Federal Usability Resources

 Many usability resources and training are
 YOU can add to those resources.
   Web site cosponsored by U. S. Department of Health
    and Human Services (HHS) and the General Services
    Administration (GSA)
   Purpose: to increase the usability of Federal Web sites
    and online applications
   Includes usability basics, methodology, tools, resources,
    lessons learned, and more
   Built for Federal Web/communication technology
    developers but available to anyone
   Currently undergoing redesign
Usability University
   Free seminars and low-cost courses on usability topics
    primarily held in Washington, DC area
   Spring 04 – 387 Federal staff/contractors representing
    more than 30 agencies attended
   Cosponsored by GSA & HHS
   Fall 04 schedule
U-Group e-newsletter

   GSA e-newsletter on usability topics
   To subscribe:
    Send email to and type
    the following command in the body of message:
    subscribe u-group
   September, 2004 Issue – Older Users and the
Usability Testing Tool
   Automated tool that collects quantitative and qualitative
    data generated in usability testing
   Will provide easier, more accurate, and quantitative
    reporting of Web usability performance and preference
   Beta version in testing now, will be available to all
    Federal Web/application developers
   Cosponsored by GSA, IRS, NRC, HHS
STEP508 Accessibility Tool
   Accessibility error prioritization tool that takes results of
    accessibility evaluation tools (Bobby, LIFT, WebKing,
    etc.) and prioritizes the accessibility errors
   Helps developers assess current state of accessibility of
    Web site, prioritize the accessibility problems to fix, and
    track progress in fixing accessibility errors over time
   Free download from
   Cosponsored by GSA and HHS
Research-based Web Usability
   Research-based Web Design and Usability
    Guidelines (2003)
   187 guidelines based on research in usability, user
    interface, human factors
   Peer-reviewed by usability experts, usability researchers,
    and Web developers/designers
   PDF available on (Web version
    coming soon), Book available on amazon
   Update in process
   Cosponsored by HHS and GSA
Question 1
Users read fastest from a computer monitor
 that displays characters as

A.   Serif font - Times New Roman or Georgia
B.   Sans serif font - Arial or Verdana
C.   Microsoft‟s new ClearType
D.   They all elicit the same reading speed
Question 2
Users tend to read text information fastest
 from a computer monitor if the line lengths
A. All about the same size (no matter how long)
B. Fairly long (up to 8 inches wide)
C. Moderately long (about 5 inches wide)
D. Relatively short columns (about 2.5 inches
The Problem
   Designers guess when making too many design
   Reasons that the available research is not used
      Not part of initial training
      Not readily available
      Not easily accessible
      Not easily understood
      Not valued by management
Overall Goal of the Project
   To develop a practical, easy-to-use resource that
      Assist those involved in the creation of information-
       oriented Web sites
      Facilitate making design decisions based on the best
       available evidence

Purpose of the Guidelines

   To create better and more usable information
    Web sites
   To provide valid, peer-reviewed Web site design
   To stimulate research into areas that will have
    the greatest impact on the creation of usable
    Web sites
Guidelines Study - Phase 1
   Identified existing guidelines widely used in the
    field (began in April, 2000)
   Attempted to find research to support the
    existing guidelines
   Resolved conflicts in the guidelines
   Added new guidelines based on available
    research (up to 309)
   Initially posted 60 guidelines to “”
    (November, 2000)
Guidelines 1.0 Version
Guidelines Study (phase 1 cont.)
   Continued to add new guidelines from other
   Reviewed all guidelines
     Eliminated those rated as „not important‟
     Combined similar guidelines, and clarified   conflicting
     Dropped those not related to traditional human-
      computer interactions
   Conducted several rounds of internal review and
   Total guidelines
     Mid-2001: 537
     End of 2001: 398
Guidelines Study - Phase 2a
   Recruited 16 reviewers
      Web designers
      Usability specialists

   Rated each guideline on the question: “How
    important is this guideline to the overall success
    of a Web site?”

   There was no difference between designers and
    usability specialists
Guidelines Study - Phase 2b
   Recruited 8 Usability Experts
     Ph.D.
     Expert in Web design and usability research
     Knowledge of experimental design
     Published articles and/or books
   Rated each guideline: Strong, Weak, or No
   Little agreement among experts
   Experts met to resolve differences
Refined the „Importance‟ Scale
   5       Strong research support
         Compelling, supporting research-based evidence
         At least one formal, rigorous study with contextual validity
         No known conflicting research-based findings

   4       Moderate research support
         Cumulative research-based evidence
         Conflicting research based findings may or may not exist
         Consensus expert opinion

   3       Weak research support
         Limited research-based evidence
         Conflicting research-based findings may exist
         And/or there is mixed agreement of expert opinions

   2       Strong expert opinion support
         No research-based evidence
         Multiple supporting and consensus expert opinion
Guidelines Study - Results

 Final number of guidelines: 187
 Each guideline has
    A  Guideline
     Comments section
     List of sources or references
     Ratings
     Graphic examples
Guidelines Chapters
   Design Process and Evaluation
   User Friendliness
   Accessibility
   User's Hardware and Software
   The Homepage
   Overall Page Layout
   Navigation
   Scrolling and Paging
   Links
Guidelines Chapters (cont.)
    Headings, Titles, and Labels
    Text Characteristics
    Lists
    Data Entry and Widgets
    Graphics, Images, and Multimedia
    Writing Web Content
    Organizing Content
    Search
Guideline Benefits
   Web site Designers
     Reflects the state-of-research
     Suggests good design decisions
     Cautions about decisions to avoid
   Web site Managers
     Provides an overview and understanding of issues
      faced by designers
     Provides a „standard of usability‟ for designers
     Can be used to set priorities
Guideline Benefits (cont.)
   Usability Specialists
      Assists in identifying issues to evaluate (heuristics)
      Provides insights into where to focus usability testing
   Researchers
      Assess research that has been conducted
      Helps determine where new research is needed
      Assists in formulating new and important research
Tasks to be Done
   Keep the guidelines up-to-date
   Ensure that the guidelines are also available online
      Easier to update
      Easier to customize by other organizations
   Make all original articles available
   Provide code samples to designers
   Incorporate into automated usability testing tool
   Conduct and encourage research in needed areas
Usability Organizations
   Usability Professionals Association (UPA)
   Society for Technical Communication (STC)
   Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES)
   Association for Computing Machinery/SIGchi
Janice R. Nall
Manager, Usability Solutions Group
Electronic Government and Technology
Office of Governmentwide Policy
General Services Administration (GSA)
1800 F Street NW, Suite 1234
Washington, DC 20405

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