Improving the usability of Staten Island Hunger Task Force mobile site

To begin with, after talking to the client, we found that there are some signs of usability problems, such as people emailing the Staten Island Hunger Task Force asking how to donate when the information could be found on the website. The client was helpful and told us that if we have any problems or questions, we could contact her anytime. For that reason, we think that the website should be easily navigated by potential users. We asked the client what the main functions of this site are and created the tasks accordingly. After conducting the moderated remote user testing with the potential users as our participants, we found that there were some usability problems that our participants had faced while doing the assigned tasks. The result showed that the participants felt that there was necessary information on the website; however, that information were difficult to find due to the excessive amount of texts in a page. We also noticed that the participants had to scroll down all the way through the page and had to read all of them to find what they are looking for, which took some time. Also, the page titles and categories were confusing. In conclusion, we have come up with 3 key recommendations to tackle the existing usability problems, which are declutter and increase visual hierarchy, give users multiple ways to access information, and rename and re-organize pages. Working as a team, I have learned to develop my collaboration skills further. My team members were Anyelina Wu and Flita Fernandes. We recruited the participants and conducted the moderated remote user testing. After finding out what are the key problems the website has, we then assign each team member to look more into each recommendation we came up with and redesign it in a way that improves the usability and visibility of the website. My part was “rename and re-organize pages” which I came up with a new menu bar and reorganize page names and well as the categories based on the main use of the website and to make it easier for users to find information, they need in less time than the original website. I then redesign the prototype on Figma. After doing my part of work, we combined each of our recommendations on a report and help each other write parts of the report. 

Anyelina Wu, Sandy Leegumjorn, and Flita Fernandes talking about the findings after the moderated remote usability testing. 

The process of redesigning the Staten Island Hunger Task Force was first, talking to the client and understanding their goals, the website’s goals, their potential users, and what our client would want to focus on. After that, we come up with scenarios and tasks based on the website’s main objectives as well as the pre-screening and pre-test questions. Then we recruited participants with the qualities of being the potential users of the website. We gave them the pre-screening and pre-test questions and once we see that they match as potential users, we recruited them. During the test, we read them a scenario and tasks and, asked them to think out loud while doing each task. Then we asked them to rate the difficulty of each task from 1-5 (1 from being hard to 5 for being easy). Not all participants were able to complete all the tasks but that was the reason why we conducted it. We decided to stick with these 3 key recommendations as they could fix the common and most major issue our participants have faced – not being able to find the information they need and having a to scroll all through the page and not finding the information they need in the end. Also, the page names are confusing and did not signify what those links will take the users to; therefore, there were a lot of going into pages back and forth and giving up in the end. 

After combining all the recommendations and redesigned prototypes, we made a slide for the presentation for our client. The feedback was positive, and the client said we did a great job by focusing on the main functions of the site, discovering usability issues, and then tackling the problems by redesigning and recategorizing the site accordingly. Since the main usability issues were not being able to find the information, excessive texts, confusing page names, we have fixed all that with our redesign. Based on the finding and the System Usability Scale (SUS), our 7 participants had graded 4 F’s, 2 D’s, and 1 A. Which showed us that the site could be improved. I believe that after the redesign, the grades would have improved. In the end, we completed our report and the presentation in which includes all the procedures, findings, our decision and why we chose them, and lastly, the final product with the result. The most important problem we faced while trying to conduct the moderated user testing was that one of our potential users groups is people of the Staten Island who are food insecure, which was difficult for us to conduct the user testing on them since we are in New York City, and also, it was a challenge because we have no way to reach them and conduct the usability test remotely. At first, our client was going to help us conduct the usability test while we facetime them; but that would not be an ideal option since it should be us who conduct the test. In the end, we decided to stick on our other group of potential users – people who want to donate to the pantry, people who want to volunteer, and healthcare workers. I recruited 4 participants that have donated and volunteered in the past. 

As mentioned before, the client’s feedback was positive. However, they had mentioned that one of our recommendations, which is declutter and increase visual hierarchy, might not be the best design for people with visibility issues. My teammates and I realized that we also must conduct the test on people with visibility issues; however, it was difficult for us to reach them. In conclusion, we must further conduct the usability test on people who are food insecure and people with visibility issues to make the website exclusive to all potential users. The major lessons I took from this project is that communication skills along with collaboration skills is extremely vital to work together as a team. Also, making sure that everyone is on the same page is important in order to work smoothly as a team. Moreover, realizing that there will always be circumstances and problems when doing a project. What we could do is find the best possible solution and also, every plan needs a plan B.