Show Me the Data: Usability-driven Web Design

Jason Alley
Instructional Technologist, Lafayette College


Kenneth Newquist
Web Applications Specialist, Lafayette College


October 6, 2009


Time to redesign site

Everyone has opinons about what works, but they don’t have data

Replace opinion with fact

Use software called ScreenFlow

Tests aren’t about the user it is about the website.


10 usabilty questions

2 volunteer questions

Setup: Opinio web survey tool and $10 gift card

Asked why they go to the site

5 common tasks

5 faculty tasks

5 students tasks




What was learned:

people don’t search – they have to use the right term

dense pages are hard to scan

category pages are difficult to browse

getting to a page was half the battle

Used a open card sort: let user sort them. Proves other people think differently then the designer. Helps identify trends.

Great idea but…

  1. We don’t have time
  2. We don’t have money
  3. We don’t have the space
  4. We haven’t don’t this before

But then…

  1. Testing takes some time.
  2. Analysis takes longer
  3. Much much longer.