Web Usability


In an effort to better understand usability needs on campus, an informal group was created called the Web Usability Committee. For the first meeting, all original members of the now defunct Web Marketing Subcommittee (of now defunct Web Advisory Council) were invited, as were a number of other Web and Marketing related persons from across campus.

3.15.2011 Notes

3.15.2011 Usability Minutes (docx)

3.15.2011 Usability Original Agenda (docx)

Related files: Blank Indexes and Missing On-Page Navigation (xlsx) (3/14/11)

Original message sent:

Meeting time and location: Marketing building conference room 10 to noon on Tuesday 3/15

All welcome. Below sent directly to: Arendt, Smith, Rasmussen, Blumer, Taylor, Callahan, Tobler, Hunter, LaVange, Jenkins, Walters, Grotegut, Hill, Kennedy, Cranney, Day, McCulloch, Hemmelgarn, Gast, Hansen, Chiu, Young, Busby, McPhillen, Crane, Olson, Bambrough, Hillier, Peirce, Gerber, Donat, Taylor, Walker, Portwood, Ward,  Stutz, Stucki, Whitehead, Albach, Thackeray,  Lieu, Rasmussen, Bernhard, Rowley, Pedersen

Hello all, I know it has been a long time (since November) but there are some navigation questions coming up and I thought this group would be perfect to ask about them first. While we are in no way a decision making body, we could come up with thoughts and ideas I could then present to the Comminations committees ('core' and 'stakholders') of which are decision making bodies.  Here is what I would like us to tackle in discussion for this meeting:

- the need (or not) for having 'drop down' navigation links listed on navigation 'index' pages (if you just click on the first word in the navigation not the drop nav)
- the need for having an index page at all for navigation that has drop down navigation (some of our sites simply have a pound sign which does nothing at all)
- whether individuals should be able to put their own navigation in the body (such as left navigation) if they agree to ensure it all also remains in the primary navigation
- the idea of having a consistent identifier if there is 'fly out' navigation such as a >> in front of the words

11/23/2010 Notes

Minutes from Web Usability Group 11/23 10:00 in Alumni Center Conference Room
Attendees (6) : Anne Arendt, R Stutz, Kim Chiu, Justin Gast, Natalie Peirce, Sindy Whitehead
Invited but not in attendance (31): Stephanie Albach, Travis Begay, Brian Blumer, Laura Busby, Colby Callahan, Mark Crane, Jerry Day, Parker Donat, Cameron Duckworth, Nathan Gerber, Jason Grotegut, Kevin Hansen, Jory Hemmelgarn,  Jason Kennedy, Don Lavange, Tiffany Lieu, Jim McCullough, Laurie McPhillen, Mark Olsen, Vegor Pederson, Bob Rasmussen, Tom Rasmussen, Annie Smith, R. Stutz, Phil Taylor, Susan Thackery, Dave Tobler, Roben Bernhard, Ray Walker, Robert Ward [presume this has to do with scheduling it day before thanksgiving break starts]
Goal: Find key points of brainstorm below so we can start focusing on the key points one by one (what might be done, by whom, when, how, where to channel input, what concerns are in that particular area).  Here is what we came up with:
Who does what and what resources are available?
  - who does what
  - what resources are available
  - how things are communicated
  - how requests are made
  - interactive tools
Search engine
  - results found
  - meta data as compared to search functionality itself
  - role of site maps
Terminology used on web
  - acronyms
   - where is it weak
   - what would be better
   - considering who audience is
   - departmental perspective

11/10/2010 Notes

WUC! - Web Usability Committee (previously known as Web Advisory Committee Marketing Subcommittee)

Attendees (16) : Anne Arendt, Cameron Duckworth (representing Richard Portwood), Brian Blumer, Don Lavange, Jason Kennedy, Matt Bambrough, Vadra Rowley, Heather Jenkins, Kim Chiu, Justin Gast, Susan Palmer, Sheena Stucky, Natalie Peirce, Miles Hillier, Chris Taylor, Sindy Whitehead

Invited but not in attendance (26): Stephanie Albach, Travis Begay, Laura Busby, Colby Callahan, Mark Crane, Jerry Day, Parker Donat, Nathan Gerber, Jason Grotegut, Kevin Hansen, Jory Hemmelgarn,  Tiffany Lieu, Jim McCullough, Laurie McPhillen, Mark Olsen, Vegor Pederson, Bob Rasmussen, Tom Rasmussen, Annie Smith, R. Stutz, Phil Taylor, Susan Thackery, Dave Tobler, Roben Bernhard, Ray Walker, Robert Ward

Excused (2): Isaac Walters, Jason Hill (remote)

Question on the table:

What could be done to improve the UVU Web site? (brainstorm)
4 groups created

Group 1:
- usabilty and organzation
- uv link visibility
- new students have a hard time finding myUVU
- instead of click myUVU icon why can't we log in straight from home page
- BBC.com -- move elements this would be cool
- two separate entries to future students on home page - could it be one?
  (two different approaches to find something)
- design continuity between all departments (they are all so drastically different)

Group 2:
- Finding what you want from home page is 'walk down' unless you have an object dedicated; trying to traverse structure (maddening to try and find things; navigation does not seem to have help for task based type jobs); made worse by an aweful lot of depts have organizational approach to URL structure which means you need to know organizational structure to find something.  
- nav on top as well as dept nav
- google search is 99 times of 100 more -- seems to be much more effective at finding what I want (going out to www.google.com instead of our internal search function)
- professional pages (format and limited in what you can do; a lot of people host their 'real' professional pages elsewhere)
- more diversity is a good thing (in design and the like: dance is vastly different than math; students have different approaches)
- a lot of clutter and usability problems.
- it would be good if we updated our technology (such as HTML 5); I know when I go to our web page I find stuff that is old and irrelevant.
- some pages you don't find anything besides a logo; and some pages have too much
- have things be task-based instead of organizational structure based.
- so you don't like organizational style of our web site but want it task-oriented instead? yes, that is one way to look at it.   Example: trying to find a form that I need to fill out as a staff.
- once you get to a place you want to go the information on that page may not be organizated in a way where you can find things (yes, but perhaps point above even moreso)
- keep it current and relevant (varies from group to group)
- Omniupdate inadequate; counter-intiutive; absolutely inadequate in doing things like hosting video files; cannot use editor in an intuitive way (such as when you go to 'view code' it does not keep you were you were on the page;  need Dreamweaver to use)
- it is a tool for internal use as well as for public
- not more links but more logic (maybe more on a secondary pages)
- hover of navigation is a way to get to something, but if you just click on the 'tab' then what do you get? I struggle to know what to do with that.
- top links have a sort of site map for that department; it never gets updated.  In my department you cannot click on that main nav; as far as search goes, I have done same and gone to outside Google.
- we tend to forget the trivial things (clicking somewhere so a student will have trouble finding something when you as a 'regular' might not have a problem)

Group 3:
- having problems with some people who have been granted access to Omni (someone updates pages and 'breaks stuff')
- more granularity of control
- deptartmental/school landing pages - it would be nice if the left image on topi is clickable
- finaid wants finaid link on home page
- uvu home page be less political in way of content
- more collaboration between creative side and programmers (web generation and general; including templates)
- have in print somewhere services available to depart/areas in regard to the Web (what resources, tools, etc)
- create consistency (template-- make more consistent from college to college; who can help me?  No one?  Do I need to hire out for help?); balance - we don't want too much structure; there has to be a fine line.  There can be value in thematic differences between school to school (psychological impression--shows difference, otherwise feels like you have to 'conform'); templates are not giving the impression of the school that we have. As an aid, though, it would be good.
All different audiences we are trying to focus on. A value in the approach marketing took to make things look similar (from UVU to UVSC) but now feels a little less heavy handed.
- consistency needs to be the way it functions (more than how it looks)
- people want to be independent; freedom to be different is necessary but structure of way handled needs to be consistent.
- some depts don't have web developers (from one dept to another they didn't realize they had changed departments -- too much consistency; hit back button to get back to original page and nav)
- different expection for college than I have for a department; there is a core of UVU that has a very structured look
- would you want some consistency of content in departments?  Same place?
- more diversity within flicker pictures of student images (age, ethnicity, whole gambit)
- more meta data avaialble for different departmental web developers
- more descriptive definition between what Web Dev does and Web Marketing; migrates into one above about services available - who gives what services
- we are not using consistent terminology through institution. we use in house terms that someone from outside does not know (what it is)

Group 4:
- home page very focused to students and people off campus
- home page mainly for people off campus
- if we could improve search engine that would help a lot
- design of web mostly - to sum it up it should be more modern; more visual, less text
- diversity between departments is good and necessary but perhaps we need someone to moderate content
- I need help and I don't know what my resources are - someone to let them know what their options are; someone to make sure things stay updated.
- testimonial videos on home page
- more access to google analytics for those who want it

What are we doing well?

Group 1:
- Media box (esp events) -- add more events
- like text/icon links on home page (easy to see what is available; clicking on pictures not known to all)
- like that logo links to home
- like find people
- omni (that we have it; problems but at least we have it; so much better than LCMS)
- like social media that we have (even though it needs improvement)

Group 2:
- we also like the media box and how fresh and rotating content
- homepage redesign a big improvement
- like youtube edu (specific social media mentioned)
- like that template allows you to still be affiliated with UVU (but didn't like it too)
- success/engagement stories of former students (share with friends)
- like Jason't designs and Anne's speed

Group 3:
- we like that we got rid of corkboard; more professional and more university oriented
- we like that there are some restrictions on Web design and development -- we just need to discuss where the line is; branding though is good
- pictures that rotate makes it more dynamic and fresh and new looking
- stories and highlights seem to be more current and in fact we find out about events that IT people in dept don't even know about (sometimes more than other members of dept)
- positive that is that we are moving toward better model of centralized event calendaring (topics for dept for example); enter events in one area and it drills down (we need more people to learn about it though)

Group 4:
- we like the media box on the home page
- that we have Omni so it is slightly easier