Essay, 6 pages (1500 words)

Usability prototype redesign essay

USABILITY TEST REPORT BASTE PASTA WEBSITE ANN. CHIDERS GEORGE (5747340) MENACE: USABILITY EXECUTIVE SUMMARY A business report was prepared on December 2014 to address some usability issues experienced the website of Baste Pasta restaurant, http://Piscataway. Com/ , for improved customers’ experience. For this report, 3 of the 10 Heuristic principles proposed by Jacob Nielsen were used to briefly evaluate the website aiming to Identify major usability Issues with the site. These Heuristic principles used were: 1. Consistency and Standards 2. Visibility of System Status and 3.

Match between Systems and Real World Some Usability issues found from this evaluation were; 1 . Poor Navigation Menu Design 2. Some inconsistencies In menu links 3. Poor visibility of system status thus users would not realism it’s a restaurant at first view etc. A PACT (People, Activities, Contexts and Technologies) analysis also was briefly conducted on the website as proposed by Benson in Designing Interactive Systems A low fidelity prototype redesign using Microsoft Powering 2013 was developed to address core problems encountered and some users were involved in a participatory design in discussing on how the redesign could be improved

This report contains information about some usability issues experienced on a Bessie, http://Piscataway. Com/, of a restaurant serving traditional Italian food and a few usability and design techniques used to redesign the website. According to Nielsen (1995), Heuristic Evaluation is a method of analyzing a user interface design with a view of finding usability problems which would be attended to as part of an iterative design process. Nielsen proposed 10 general ‘ heuristic’ principles for interaction design which are just broad rules and not specific usability guidelines (Nielsen 1995).

For the purpose of this report, 3 of Nielsen heuristic principles were used to evaluate usability issues with the Baste Pasta website. The navigation menu design at the home page of Baste Pasta site does not conform to the standard platform conventions and users would have to go through the stress of navigating through to open irrelevant doors to know locate hidden links (see Fig. 1). Nielsen (1995) suggested that a good design should always follow platform conventions. A better design would be a simple navigation menu placed horizontally at the top page of the website with all basic links displayed.

Figure 1 . Navigation Menu of Baste Pasta Site Another usability issue noted is that some links suggest the same meaning thus not insistent. Examples are the “ Gallery’ and “ Photos” link, and then the “ Menu” and “ Lunch Menu” link (see Fig. 2). This should be properly categorized. Another usability issue is that users clicking on the “ Photos” or “ Gallery’ link on the site are expected to see pictures of different meals being served and some interiors of the restaurant. The “ Gallery’ link shows abstract pictures not related to the site pictures.

These shows lack of consistency. Figure 3. Pictures shown in the Gallery menu It is assumed the first page that comes up on a website is its “ home page” with some sign features to gives potential customers some insight on what the site is all about. The visual design of the site’s “ home page” has failed to convey any substantial information that it is indeed a restaurant. Baste pasta written on the home page meaning “ Just Pasta” according to Google is not Just sufficient enough to indicate it is a restaurant (see Fig. 4).

According to Nielsen (1995), users should always be informed about what is happening at all time on a system through the right feedbacks. A good visual design of meals being served should be included at the background of the “ home page”. Figure 4. Home Page of Baste Pasta Site 2. 3 Match between Systems and Real World The sub menus in the “ Menu” link showing the categories of meals offered are all written in Italian language and users not familiar with the language would not be able to categorize the dishes being served (see Fig. 5).

Nielsen (1995) suggest that a good interface design should speak the users’ language with familiar contents. An option to change a user’s country language in the design especially English being the world most universal language should be included in the design Figure 5. Sub menu written in Italian Language Understand the “ people” and the different “ activities” which they would want to undertake in a system, together with the “ contexts” in which those activities would take place is required by designers in designing an interactive system (Benson, Turner and Turner 2005).

PACT, an acronym for People, Activities, Contexts and Technologies is a method for generating requirements proposed by Benson in designing interactive systems (Benson, Turner and Turner 2005) A PACT analysis was performed on Baste Pasta site to aid in the redesign 3. 1 People People are different from one another speaking different languages with different bevel of users interface experience. The Baste Pasta website didn’t consider people of different cultures and languages as information provided in Italian language would be confusing to these people.

An option to change user’s language preferences would also be confused with the navigation menu design of the site which is a lot different from the standard way of navigating through a site. The site design gives some level of stress when navigating. A simple navigation system placed horizontally at the top page of the “ home page” would improve customer’s experiences The design of the site makes activities difficult for people to perform. A very quick usability testing with three participants was conducted to get details of the address, opening hours, history, email address and contact number of restaurant.

These are key information potential customers of the restaurant expects to see as they navigate through the home page of the site. All participants were unable to achieve this thus the design of the site has failed. Baste Pasta location address and history pops out in a big text box when cursor is pointed on the Baste Pasta tab on the internet browser which does not conforms to the platform conventions (see Fig. 6). An “ About us”, “ Contact” and “ Open hours” links on the navigation menu would address these issues. Figure 6.

History and address location of Baste Pasta Users might also decide to book for table reservations or events which the website does not support. An online booking service should be developed to improve customers’ experience. The design of the site doesn’t give that first impression to people that it’s a restaurant. No activity surrounding the design of the “ home” page shows it’s a restaurant. A good visual design of a meal and wine at the background of the home page would have help solve this problem. The website comes with a background music that users doesn’t have control of.

The present environment of users might require them to mute the music. Users should be able to mute this from the website and not user muting their devices. Peoples could be at any location accessing the website. Users on the go would use their smartness while users at their residents or offices may be using a browser on a computer to access the website. Three mobile devices (An android, window and apple ISO mobile phone) were chosen at random to access the site and it wasn’t accessible thus the flash player technology used to design the website doesn’t cut cross different platforms.

Both the Android and Apple ISO mobile devices requested for a flash player and went further to say “ flash player not supported by your device and should be viewed on a desktop computer or on mobile devices that support flash player”. The Window mobile device Just gave a yellow big error sign message (see Fig. 7). A mobile friendly version of the site should be designed to cut across all mobile platforms for easy accessibility. Technology The designers of the website did not consider the different kind of hardware devices and their software that would be used to access the website.

The website is not accessible on most mobile devices because of the flash player technology used in designing the site. On devices with touch screens, users must click the navigation door designs linking them straight to the content without knowing which link were clicked. Languages available for different users to choose. When clicked, texts on the site changes to corresponding language Navigation Men is placed horizontal at the top page of Home Page.

The thick dark line under the “ Home” link indicates current page is the Home Page A “ Book NOW’ Link for events reservation and bookings. Not available at Original site An “ About Us” Link to a page with a brief history about Baste Pasta. This was not obvious in the design of original site “ Open Hours” Link to a page showing days of the week with resumption and closing time. This Information is not available on the original site “ Menus” link to a page to select either to see the Lunch or Dinner Menu.

The “ Lunch Menu” link at the original site has been categorized under “ Menus” in prototype redesign “ Contact” link directs to a page with contact address and location using Google map). This Information not included on the Baste Pasta Main site Online Booking Service for Table Reservation HOME PAGE “ Gallery’ link too page with pictures of different meals being served and interiors of the Restaurant replacing the abstract pictures with no relation to Baste Pasta being showed in original Site as “ Photos” “ Video” link to a page with some video content showing some meal preparation and the interior of Baste Pasta.

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