Using the New Usability Guidelines Book Department of Energy interLab 2006 October 25, 2006 ------------------------------------------------ Nicole Burton General Services Administration
Introduction • My background • How I became a usability specialist
Our Objective • To build practical design skills • To enhance our community of practice • Guidelines book should not be shelf-ware!
What We’ll Cover • Introduction to User-Centered Design and Guidelines book • Selected guidelines • Best Practices and Usability Resources • The 4 “E’s” (plus the 5th “E”) • Discussion • Raffle two Guidelines books
What Is Usability? • Usability: “Fitness to Purpose” The quality of a user's experience when interacting with a product or system — a website, a software application, mobile technology, or any user-operated product. • User-Centered Design UCD is a flexible yet structured development methodology driven by specified, task-oriented business goals, and the recognition ofuser needs, limitations, and preferences
What does Usability Measure? • Usefulness • Degree to which users can successfully achieve goals/complete tasks • Ease of Use • Ability of users to accomplish goals with speed & ease • Ease of Learning • Ability to operate the system to some defined level of competence after some predetermined amount of training • Satisfaction • Attitude of users, including perceptions, feelings and opinions of the product
User-Centered Design Model Define Design
Why Is Usability Important to Government? • Federal Government: largest single producer, collector, consumer, and disseminator of information in the world • 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 websites or emailing government officials. This represented a growth of 50% from 2002.(Pew Internet in American Life, 2003)
1:1 Provide Useful Content Importance Evidence Guideline: Provide content that is engaging, relevant, and appropriate to the audience.
1:3 Understand and Meet User’s Expectations Importance Evidence Guideline: Ensure the Web site format meets user expectations, especially related to navigation, content, and organization.
1:4 Involve Users in Establishing User Requirements Importance Evidence Sources: 7 • Field studies/Contextual interviews (watching users doing real work onsite) www.sitepoint.com/article/contextual-enquiry-primer • User interviews/user gatherings • Surveys & focus groups • Help desk logs & webmaster E-mail • Search logs and Web analytics
1:5 Set and State Goals Importance Evidence Sources: 3 Guideline: Identify and clearly articulate the primary goals of the website before beginning the design process. Before starting design work, identify primary goals of the website (educate, inform, entertain, sell, etc.). Goals determine the audience, content, function, and the site’s unique look and feel. Communicate the goals to, and develop consensus for the site goals from, management and those working on the website.
1:5 Set and State Goals Importance Evidence Sources: 3 • A technique for expressing this on your site: goal statement or tagline • Clearly explain what you do • Describe your primary audience • Describe what makes you unique amongst your competitors
Importance 1:5 Set and State Goals Evidence Sources: 3
Importance 1:5 Set and State Goals Evidence Sources: 3
1:11 Use Personas Importance Evidence Sources: 3
Importance 1:11 Use Personas Evidence Sources: 3 • Persona Information Categories: • Personal Characteristics (Name, Age, Sex, Marital Status, Vehicle, Photograph) • Experience and Education • Goals and Motivations • Job Role • User Needs & Design Implications
Importance 1:11 Use Personas Evidence Sources: 3 • Personas focus attention on specific users • Personas reduce self-referential decisions • Personas are a good team-building exercise • Three to five personas is optimal • Designate a primary persona • Visibly display personas as posters
2:2 Increase Web Site Credibility Importance Evidence Sources: 4 • A physical address is provided on the homepage and all major points of entry • Frequently asked questions are provided AND are useful
2:2 Increase Web Site Credibility Importance Evidence Sources: 4 www.firstgov.gov/webcontent/getting_started/naming/sponsorship.shtml
2:2 Increase Web Site Credibility Importance Evidence Sources: 4 • Organization providing the information is highly visible • Site is arranged in a logical way • Provides phone numbers • Dates are provided up-front and are kept current
Government Best Practices www.firstgov.gov/webcontent/reqs_bestpractices.shtml
3:3 Do Not Use Color Alone to Convey Information Importance Evidence Sources: 14
Importance 3:3 Do Not Use Color Alone to Convey Information Evidence Sources: 14 As seen by non-colorblind users.
Importance 3:3 Do Not Use Color Alone to Convey Information Evidence Sources: 14 As seen by 5% of the population.
Imporance 3.3 Do Not Use Color Alone Evidence Sources: 14 X This information is required.
4:1 Design for Common Browsers Importance Evidence Sources: 4 thecounter.com, August 2006
4:1 Design for Common Browsers Importance Evidence Sources: 4 webusability.com
4:1 Design for Common Browsers Importance Evidence Sources: 4
Importance 5:2 Show All Major Options on the Homepage Evidence Sources: 4 All major topic areas and categories are presented at the homepage level.
Importance 5:2 Show All Major Options on the Homepage Evidence Sources: 4
Importance 5:3 Create a Positive First Impression Evidence Sources: 4 Updated as of 5/30/05
Importance 5:3 Create A Positive First Impression Evidence Sources: 4 DOE Office of Health, Safety & Security
6:3 Place Important Items at Top Center Importance Evidence Sources: 10 1 3 2 4
6:3 Place Important Items at Top Center Importance Evidence Sources: 10
Importance Evidence 9:1 Use Clear Category Labels Sources: 7 Link labels are clear and distinct, allowing users to distinguish paths quickly.