Usability Test

on September 15, 2014

This user test was on the “100 Gallons” story. My first thoughts about this website were, ‘wow I can’t scroll down’, ‘It’s just one video, that seems simple enough’, and ‘there does not seem to be much information’. The thoughts were not criticizing the website, I was more trying to figure things out before exploring.

My exploration started with the ‘how to view’ button. I clicked on this first because there was not much labeling and so I was unsure of what each button did. After doing some reading I clicked play on the video. The ‘how to view’ rules had said I could pause during the video to read the different stories, but I just wanted to see the whole thing first. Once the video was finished it turned into a colleague of pictures. I clicked on one and read the text that came up. I had decided to click on a picture because I was unsure of what to do after the video had ended.

During my exploration I encountered a few problems. The first problem was navigating back from an informational page. There was no button, I had to click in the black in order to return to the home page. Also I thought the labeling of the buttons was unclear. If I had not read the ‘how to’ page I would have never known that the small circles were different stories, or something that could be clicked on.

The usability for this site was a bit different for the person I tested. The first thing they did was click play on the video and watched with no pauses. After the video was finished they clicked on the question ‘why 100 gallons’ and read the information. Then he asked “is this it?”

During his explorations he did not realize the small circles, or the colleague of pictures could be clicked on. In general he didn’t know where to navigate. This is due to the bad labeling, having more than 7 options, and that there was too many layers. Once he clicked on something there was more to click on. He said, “it felt that they tried to go way to advanced compared to what people are used to.”

I thought finding the contact information was confusing. I looked at the three logos on the bottom of the page and guessed that was who to contact. The other tester found the contact information by clicking the ‘about’ button and then clicked on the word ‘here’ on that page. Doing that lead right to the page that showed who made the site and who to contact with questions. It would have taken me a while to find that.

Our usability of the site was similar in the fact that we watched the whole video before doing some exploring of the page. Neither of us knew that circles were links to more information. Our differences started with what was clicked first. I had clicked the ‘how to view’ button and so I knew there was more that could be seen. The other tester watched the video first and concluded that it was all the website had to offer.

One thing that should not be changed about the website is how the main video is put together. I think the video is put together in a way that makes viewers wonder, which in turn makes them continue to watch. Another thing that should not be changed is the information. The information that is provided is very educational. Also the ‘100 gallons’ theme should stay the same because it makes people think. Not many people realize how much water they use in one day.

There are more than three things that need to be changed on the website, but these are the top three. The first thing is labeling. If there was any type of labeling on the buttons, I think viewers would have a better understanding of what everything does. Using less layers is the second change. Once a viewer has clicked into something, there is then more to click on that leads to another page. When this happens the viewer gets lost and leaves the website. The third change, I think, should be adding a home page. This would help eliminate the layer problem and it would also help convey the large quantity of information that seems to be hidden.


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