After completing my Essay Sketch, I conducted a usability evaluation. I had five people individually visit my essay sketch. I watched each user navigate threw my sketch, not saying anything about what to do, and then discussed with them afterwards how the site may be improved. My conclusions are as follows:
Analysis and Synthesis
I’ll start with the good things these participants thought about my sketch. Four out of five users thought that the navigation was very understandable and easy to get threw. They followed the order that I had in mind, but was also able to veer off to explore the rest of my site as well as come back to the main path when ever they wanted. There were a few ideas to make the map a little more understandable, but all in all, they agreed it was very easy to navigate. The best part of the navigation was recorded to be the links at the bottom of each page. When they were done reading the material, this gave them a place to go next.
The other good thing that my users thought I did well was placement of text and pictures. They thought that the design to the text and how it was separated into paragraphs made it very easy to read and kept them interested. It wasn’t too long and wordy, a problem that comes with too many words being on the screen. They also thought that there were just enough pictures to keep them interested, but not to many for them not to care about the words. They also thought the text was very easy to read, being that they were in white on a black background. And the color change in text let them know there was a side note.
They last thing that they liked was the actual content of my writing. They found most of it to me funny as well as informative about me and the material I read. Since most of the users where my friends, they could easily relate to what I wrote and it brought back good memories to most of them. They thought it was really good that I included so much personal information and allowed the sketch to overflow into the rest of my website.
Now I’ll dive into some of the things they thought I could do better on. Since I was just talking about how I allowed the user to explore my whole website, the first suggestion made was to place a “back to essay sketch” button or link in the journal entries that the sketched linked to. A couple of the users got lost once they clicked on these outside links and had no other way to get back besides the back button on their navigator. Along this same type of idea, it was suggested that I include a “back to start of essay sketch” button at the bottom of each page of the sketch. And once the user got to the “how do you know me” section, many people wanted me to include the four links at the bottom of each one of those pages, with the one they were at as an inactive link. They thought that this would be the next move they wanted to make after they got done reading the page they were at and suggested that many people know me from multiple areas, so they would want to visit each page without going to the “how do you know me” page. I thought I gave this option in right navigation bar, but it was unanimous that most of the users didn’t really notice that side because of the size and color. The only other thing everyone seemed to mention was the grammar and spelling throughout the sketch and web page for that matter. I will defiantly say that I just missed these mistakes, but can easily fix that.
These were really the only critiques the users had and could all be fixed very easily. So I think I will conclude by saying that the navigation seemed very easy for all levels of users and only could use minor adjustments to make it a little better. However, I do think most of the advice given to me was really just an oversight and if I really thought about it, I could have corrected it while I was doing the project. But I do thank my participants and appreciate the time they took to help me out.
If anyone else would like to let me know what they thought of it, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and title the subject “usability.”