NYC Department of Education — Digital Accessibility
QA for Launch and UX Research on New Websites and Intranet: Vast 2000+ websites and Intranet, including all documents, must meet Guidelines (WCAG 2.0 Level AA) so that people with different abilities an languages have access to the content and tools.
NYC DOE is the largest school system in the country. There are millions of users to the site, and the staff are a small city unto themselves. There are 1,800+ schools across the five boroughs.
Digital Accessibility Consultant and UX Research Lead
5 months (QA and Content Strategy to Launch, 2 months UX Research)
Part of the Division of Instructional and Information Technology:
• 1 UX Designer / Researcher (me)
• Director of Product Quality,
• Chief Digital Communications Officer,
• Director of Digital Communications Policy and Strategy,
• 6 Digital Communications and Programming Analysts
• Director of Community Implementation
- QA Websites Intranet and documents for Launch.
- Build content working with stakeholders to meet accessibility guidelines.
- Train various stakeholders on how to create accessible content.
- UX Research feedback post launch, setting up long term feedback, surfacing how to use tools, FAQ’s, and prioritizing content.
- Content Development and talking with stakeholders pre-launch
- QA InfoHub and Documents
- Research and Feedback Analysis Report and Slide Deck.
- Iterations on Website
Many Stakeholders with different needs that are accustomed to the old product.
QA-ing 300+ pages within a short amount of time.
Implementing meaningful changes that do not alter the fundamental structure of the sites.
QUALITY ASSURANCE AND ACCESSIBILITY
Worked with Dev and SiteImprove performing multiple passes on each page and user flow.
Created a Prioritized standard and guide for QA including: matching URL to page title, HTML (no extra code from CMS), no broken links, no redundant name, search optimization with tagging, written in plain language (6–9th grade reading level), translated into 9 languages, all images have alt tag descriptions, video has both descriptive captioning and subtitles etc.
NEW RESPONSIVE SITES — MOBILE, ACCESSIBLE TO WCAG 2.0
over 400+ responses
• Different Users are seeking different information and tools
• Frustrations with the new website stem from not being able to find things
• Search is not prioritizing pages enough
• The new sites are modern
INTERVIEWS AND GROUP FEEDBACK SESSIONS
These will be conducted in the next few weeks with different users: Parents, Teachers, Parent Coordinators, Principals, DOE Staff/Partners
Writing follow-up invitations, additional questionnaire form, and Script for interviews with specific user types.
Thus far, feedback from 15 users including Parents and DOE staff
Wrote Script for scenarios and task for different users specifically targeting features and tools within the website.
Some findings and notes:
- Understanding which website is for which user is fundamental to use
- Prioritizing an on-boarding process or quicklinks
- Improving the search functionality for a better flow
- Bring prioritized content forward with Quick Links, FAQ’s
- Address Tech issues surrounding search and school finding
- UI changes for legibility
- Suggestions on tool improvement for Search, Find a School, etc.
- Feedback opportunity Form built into website
Small design and language changes can have big effects on the way people get information.
Accessibility starts with standards like WCAG, but can also take into account overall experience through user feedback and analysis.
Next steps I advise: entail making .pdf’s into online forms submittable immediately and much more easily than printing a paper document.