Case study: Usability testing
Prior to launching their e-commerce site, an Internet company commissioned usability tests to gather feedback from potential customers concerning the design and functionality of their website, to uncover any problem areas and to identify any potential improvements.
The tests were conducted among a random sample of computer users fulfilling specific age and Internet usage requirements. Over a dozen exercises were conducted by participants which required them to perform various tasks, such as home page navigation, searching and browsing, and customizing settings. The usability tests were videotaped with both the client and Hardwick Research staff able to view the test sessions in real time using a monitor set up in a separate room next door.
During the tests, website designers were able to note problem areas and make on-the-spot improvements to the website. These usability tests provided our client with immediate feedback on needed improvements to the website, including adding drop down menus, relocating buttons to make them more visible and clarifying directions for users in some sections.