Glasgow Clyde College

Glasgow Clyde College

Project Information

Categories: Education

Released: 08/08/2017

Glasgow Clyde College (GCC) appointed The Zen Agency to carry out in depth usability testing of their new website before it went live to the public.

With the primary objective of creating an inclusive and accessible web site, the need to test with real people before it was launched was critical to the success of the project.

  • Barrier free user experience across all key devices and screen sizes
  • Ensure tasks can be completed by users with special needs
  • Identify key issues which could affect the enquiries
  • Reduced risk of failure and negative feedback

By conducting independent and objective user testing the Zen Agency was able to provide real-world insight into the problems the site faced.

We created 11 scenarios to be tested on the newly designed website. It was essential that the tests focused on the ‘red routes’- tasks that are critical to both the user and the organisation. These were identified during the planning stage.

Tasks tested included:

  •         finding career options after studying a specific course
  •         how to apply for a course
  •         gathering information on funding options

To run the tests we opted to test the primary audience which was identified as future students between the ages of 15-20.  Each test was recorded and the future students were asked to speak aloud their thoughts during the scenarios. This provided us valuable information about the journeys.

Tests were carried out on both desktop and mobile devices, this was important for the college as a large percentage of their traffic accessed the site using mobiles.

Each test was overseen by a facilitator; their role is responsible for the smooth running of the test and directing the user through the scenarios to be tested. During the tests, it is important for the facilitators to remain impartial and ensure they don’t influence the participants in any way as this can invalidate the data.

The desktop tests also allowed a member of GCC’s staff to be present as an observer, there were not actively involved in the test and simply observed how users interacted with the site when completing the scenarios.

“We found that by observing users interact with the new site for the first time we were able to draw extremely valuable and interesting insight we would not normally have known”. GCC staff

At the end of the scenarios participants were asked 2 ‘exit questions’. An exit question is qualitative in nature and generates insights about behaviours or attitudes. The exit questions were:  

  •         If you had a magic wand what would you do to change this website?
  •         How does the website make you feel about Glasgow Clyde College?

Following implementation of findings the second round of testing took place in order to compare before and after, as well as potentially find new issues that have been put in after changes.

This time we also focused on key performance indicators including:

  •         task completion rate
  •         time on task
  •         any reductions in errors made

It is important that new people are recruited so they are seeing the website for the first time during the testing process and not re-test previous participants to ensure no familiarity with the system exists.

After the tests were completed The Zen Agency produced a detailed report which included all of our findings to GCC.

The report produced detailed the top positives, user journeys in addition to key usability issues within the site. We provided full access to the recordings and referenced key moments which enabled GCC to view these easily.

Through our usability testing GCC, were able to identify and fix key issues affecting the UX of the newly designed website. 

If you would like to discuss how Zen can improve the performance of your website through usability testing, get in touch as we would love to have a chat. 

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