When developing websites for students, faculty, and researchers, it can be easy to think that we have all the answers; that all we need to do is pair what we think the solution is with what we think the problem is, and we’re good to go. So why we do we get it wrong so often? Why do so many academic web projects fail to have an impact, to meet the goals and needs of the site’s users?

In this session, we’ll explore how usability testing techniques can provide the context we need to avert this kind of mismatch, borrowing a bit from a recent Kickstarter game to demonstrate how things can go down the wrong path (even with the best of intentions). Sometimes we celebrate the worst possible interpretation when conducting user testing, simply by seeing only what we want to see. Knowing how to iterate, how to test, and how to leverage your user input is key. Otherwise, we’re really just making assumptions, aren’t we? And you know how that game ends.

What You'll Learn:

  • How user testing can help you learn — and learn quickly — while creating online user experiences
  • How to recognize the types of responses that will lead to changes in your IA or implementation plan
  • How to iterate or pivot in your development of academic site as a result of user input

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Presented By

Robin Smail