USABILITY EVALUATION

“Put simply, usability evaluation assesses the extent to which an interactive system is easy and pleasant to use” (Cockton, n.d.).

HEURISTIC EVALUATION – Taking inspiration from Nielsen and Molich’s 10 User Interface Design Heuristics and Shneiderman’s Eight Golden Rules, I established a list of appropriate heuristics for my own portfolio usability evaluation:

  1. Logical and expected order of information
  2. Consistent quality and style of graphic elements and terminology
  3. Aesthetic and minimalist design
  4. Offer simple error handling
  5. Flexibility and efficiency of use

I then asked some fellow creatives to access and browse my portfolio site, whilst considering the listed heuristics.

EVALUATOR 1 – “All of the typical things I’d expect to see in a portfolio like examples of work, contact details and about the person are all present and linked at the top of the page which makes it easy to navigate to a specific section. I like to judge their work first so that’s what I’d click to if it wasn’t the first thing on the landing page. All of the colours and that are consistant, although the typeface is a bit repetitive. Simple design. Not really much use for error handling but I like that the contact form alerts you if you’ve not filled in field. Easy to navigate around overall – good layout but I’d want the option to see more about a specific project; I like that you can zoom in on the image but it’s not very detailed or informative.

EVALUATOR 2 – “I like that everything is in one page and the navigation jumps to each section – it makes the page faster and easier to move around. The style is consistant and conveys personality – I like the logo typeface. It’s a professional but simple design – maybe some more subtle animations or better parallax effects would make it stand out a bit more. Overall though I like it – it tells me everything I need to know.”

COGNITIVE WALKTHROUGH- I also asked my evaluators to complete some tasks to see how easy it is to navigate around my site.

Tasks:

  • a) Send me an email
  • b) View my Twitter account
  • c) View my work
  • b) Download my CV

EVALUATOR 1 –

a) “Really easy to find even though the actual form is right at the bottom of the page because it’s in the navigation which is the first thing you see.”

b)”I did this on mobile and the only social media links I could find were text in the contact form – links would be much better.”

c) “Quick link in navgiation and it’s not too far down the page but there’s not much detail about the projects.”

d) “Took a bit of scrolling but nice clear link.”

EVALUATOR 2 –

a) “Clicked contact in the navigation – like that this bar is fixed incase you want to redirect whilst scrolling.”

b) “Didn’t notice the social media links at the top of the page immediately – was looking for them in page.”

c) “Easy to find but not much to view.”

d) “Like that it’s a pdf file – stands out from surrounding text but could be coloured to make it more prominent.”

From their feedback, I was able to better establish any problems with the user experience. Overall, the site performed well – both users said that the navigation was easy and quick to use, the design is consistent and not too cluttered, tasks are easy to complete. Things I could improve on: include a more detailed view of each example of work, break up blocks of text with headers of a different typeface, include social media icons on mobile.


https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/the-encyclopedia-of-human-computer-interaction-2nd-ed/usability-evaluation

https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/heuristic-evaluation-how-to-conduct-a-heuristic-evaluation

https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/how-to-conduct-a-cognitive-walkthrough

http://www.designprinciplesftw.com/collections/shneidermans-eight-golden-rules-of-interface-design

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