Online Marketing Executive at Priority Pass
25 August 2008 21:08pm
We are about to launch a new redeveloped website in a month's time. It has just gone into private beta, but very little past documentation has been created. Can anyone give some good tips for a usability testing plan? (say for around 6 months) Ideas on inclusions, and processes would be useful!
Also, does anyone have any views on how involved the web development team should be at this stage of the project in terms of responsibilities as well as documentation creation? I assume it is best to speak to departmental stake holders to get a solid idea of user requirements before any user testing is carried out?
Social media guy at CSC
26 August 2008 11:51am
...to do the work before you build the website!
Seeing as your website is already built, you're going to need to figure out what can be changed, and what can't be changed. Be practical and accept that certain changes might not be possible to implement. Focus on providing appropriate, clearly written content and consistency of presentation and language.
If you don't have a lot of existing documentation, you do have a problem. The main problem with undocumented projects like this is that it can be very difficult to prove the benefits of any changes. Try and benchmark through any stats you can gather and if possible survey your existing site users to find out how they regard your current offering. This might give you at least some foundation for measuring relative improvements in perception and performance.
The value of persona development is somewhat underestimated these days but I think it can be a very useful tool to generate enthusiasm and understanding of what other types of users might require from your site. If you need to encourage buy-in the the principles of usable design, and you want a friendly way to include non-technical staff in the process, personas are great. Start with yourself (staff persona) to get a feel for it, then select appropriate stakeholder traits to include in your external user personas.
Does that help? Hope so...keep focused on making improvements that show provable benefits for real people and you won't go far wrong!
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