WTA Usability Research
Improve the WTA website based on usability testing insights
Summary: I worked in a team to conduct usability testings on various features of the Washington Trails Association website. We gave design recommendations based on insights gathered from the usability research sessions.
Washington Trail Association (WTA) is an organization that aims to preserve, enhance, and promote hiking opportunities in the Washington state. Its website provides information about hikes, volunteer trail maintenance opportunities, and WTA facts.
My team identified test objectives through heuristic evaluation. We then tested the product on people with various backgrounds. During this project, I contributed heuristic evaluation, participants recruitment, research facilitation, data collection, and data analysis.
Clarify experience level and geographical locations
Many study participants were unsure how to categorize their hiking experience level. If my group and I were to repeat our project, we would make it more clear on hiking criteria (e.g. 0–3 hikes in the past year represent beginner level, etc.).
Some of them also found “find a hike within your experience level and region” task difficult because they were unfamiliar with geographical locations. In future, I will give examples of what cities belong to which regions within the state.
The next time I conduct a test involving recordings, I will make sure that there is enough storage to save those recording files.
Usability research is a great way to test the effectiveness of design. I learned that it is important to not only gather the quantitative data from questionnaires but also observe people’s behaviors to capture their latent reactions to the product/services being tested.
Date: September — December 2016
Credits: Maria Buan, Sol Choi, Tuyen Truong