This usability evaluation was conducted by a team of 5 graduate students in a Usability Theory and Practice course at Pratt Institute during the Spring 2022 semester. Our client, the Friends of Crocheron & John Golden Park is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide stewardship over Crocheron & John Golden Park in Bayside, Queens. The organization coordinates volunteer events, recreational activities, park conservation, and educational opportunities to engage the community that uses the park.
The Friends of Crocheron & John Golden Park website is a resource for the community to learn more about upcoming events, how to get involved, how to donate, park history, and much more. When meeting with the client, they outlined several areas of the site they were interested in having our team assess in our usability study.
Based on our meeting with the client, we came up with the following objectives for the usability study:
- Determine whether the website meets general user needs.
- Determine how users interact with content on the Park History page and whether it meets their needs and expectations.
- Determine what types of content users are interested in on the Blog page and how the structure of the page could be improved to increase user engagement.
- Learn more about users’ experience when registering for volunteer opportunities on the site.
- Evaluate the efficacy of the donation process through the website’s Donate page. Assess whether users feel there is enough information provided in order to motivate them to make a donation.
Our team for this usability evaluation was Nikita Bawa, Yang Cheng, Erin Murphy (me), Gaurav Patil, and Eric Yu. Together, we collaborated to determine what our objectives, methodology, findings, and recommendations would be for the study.
My individual roles on this project included:
- Acted as lead moderator on 2 user test interviews
- Acted as supporting moderator on 2 user test interviews (taking notes, recording Zoom sessions)
- Analyzed participant data to create data visualizations on their demographics and engagement with the organization/park
- Contributed to final presentation and report
Step 1: Prepare
- Met with clients to discuss their needs and areas of the site they would like to be assessed
- Determined the types of users to recruit for the user test. In this case it was users of the park
- Drafted a participant screening questionnaire, tasks to ask participants to perform during the test, and pre/post test questions
- Scheduled user test interviews to be conducted over Zoom
Step 2: Testing
- We performed user tests with 8 participants. 5 were active park users and 3 were Pratt graduate students.
- Each test had a lead moderator, who verbally walked participants through a set of tasks on the website while sharing their screen on Zoom, and a second moderator, who took notes.
Step 3: Analysis
Results from the user tests were compiled into a spreadsheet and sorted into problem categories.
We analyzed the data collected from the participant screening questions to understand their demographics and engagement with the organization and park itself.
Steps 4 & 5: Findings & Recommendations
Finding 1: Users were looking for a more streamlined volunteer registration process.
There are various ways on the site to navigate to the volunteer registration page, but some of the links take the user to a different destination page.
Recommendation 1: Create a single destination page for all volunteer registration activities and simplify navigation buttons to access it.
Finding 2: Users would like to see more information about how donations are used on the donate page.
Recommendation 2: Show users how each donation tier helps the park. Add a link to the page that provides a full breakdown of donation fund usage for the year.
Finding 3: Users would like to have a better sense of the park’s chronology on the history page. Also, many users were not aware of the depth of content available on this page.
Recommendation 3: Improve the structure of the history page by adding larger navigation buttons with images behind them. Add timeline button to this menu.
Finding 4: Users were expecting a more conventional blog layout on the blog page.
Recommendation 4: Redesign blog page to be a single column, add links to archived posts, option to filter posts by tag.
Most participants in this user test were impressed by the amount of content available on the Friends of Crocheron & John Golden Park website, but did not always understand all of the content that was available or how to get to it. Our proposed changes would enhance the user experience on the website and, hopefully, encourage them to become more engaged with the park and their local community.