Executive summary The following usability techniques were reviewed for the briefing materials, with instructions provided on ‘how to do this’ as well as details of any published and relevant case studies. · Think aloud protocols (using scenarios for users to work through) · Heuristic evaluation (using recognised criteria) · Prototype/scenario research using mock-ups to assess (mainly) navigation and functionality · Card sorting exercises (to assess vocabulary problems) The main messages arising from the think aloud sessions are listed below. Sites involved were Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor; Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan; Wrexham Medical Institute, Singleton Hospital, Swansea and Llandough, Cardiff. Staff taking part in the sessions included Clinical Researchers, Specialist Nurses, Physiotherapists, R&D Officer, Clinical Audit Officer, Doctors, Dietician, Biomedical Scientist, Pharmacist, Medical students, Clinical Biochemist, Senior Manager, Radiographer, Mental Health nurse. MAIN POINTS: 1. Search engine box at the top should be removed or improved. The main problem arising is that users do not understand that it only searches on that particular page and does not carry out a general search across the site for their request. There are instances where people only get that far and give up thinking there’s nothing on the site for them. 2. MEDLINE needs to be named. Currently, only found under OVID DATABASES. Most people we saw did not know Medline was part of OVID and did not look under OVID in order to find Medline. It needs to be more prominent. 3. Tabs at the top of the page need to be larger. Most people ignored them and immediately went to use the left-hand side short-cuts. Again, tabs need to be more prominent. After they were pointed out, they said they were useful but didn’t see them at first. 4. What about a FAQs tab? There is a need for a quick navigation through the site to point users in the right direction, particularly novice users who seemingly cannot take in everything on the page. 5. Lack of searching skills issues were evident. A few had great trouble getting to grips with an online textbook - consistently did not realise they could scroll down the index/chapters to find what they wanted - they would have given up using it had they not been shown at the time. 6. Lack of awareness issues also evident. Many of those seen were unaware of HOWIS and the e-library. There is an issue with Trust layout on the separate Intranet sites and a lot of people accessed resources directly from the Trust links on the front page.
|National Health Service
|Published - 2006