The Indianapolis Arts center is an organization dedicated to spreading instruction and education on the arts. This includes a diverse collection of trades from more traditional drawings to elaborate practices like glass blowing. Due to the nature of their goal, they target multiple demographics of users that are interested in exploring the arts.
The primary method for disseminating information to users is through their site. The primary functions of the site are to provide information on upcoming events, classes, supply requirements, and to garner volunteers for each of these activities. Most of the functions can beaccessed from the home page, though there is a secondary home page as well as a search bar.
Our team saw a great oppurtunity to help the Indianapolis Art Center to have better experience for their users; considering number of classes they offer, the impact of a better user experience on thier website is huge.
1-on-1 usability testing
Prior to generating usability tests our team performed an expert review on the site consisting of simple link checks, consistency across the site, task navigation, availability of information, and more. Once we were able to identify a large portion of those we crafted usability tests to present to a variety of users. Recommendations from this review were used to shape the tasks for our users as we did not want to present any known broken tasks in the goal of preventing unnecessary frustration.
Users from both across Indianapolis varying in gender, age, and artistic background were gathered for testing. All users completed the same series of tasks and were asked questions on a fixed scale so that we could measure the ease of task completion. These tests were recorded with both audio and video and contained an interviewer alongside at least one observer.
There were a few major stumbling blocks for users, primarily being Home pages, expired information from previous events, and inconsistency across the site layout. There were also a few minor issues identified including broken links, difficult to access information, and missing information.
Our team conducted one-to-one testing sessions with potential users of indplsartcenter.org. As mentioned above, we obtained users with a wide range in backgrounds. Each session took place in a controlled environment, where volume and space can be adapted or changed if needed. These sessions consisted of a facilitator, who manages the test and sees through that the test is a successfully completed and an observer, who tracks time, takes notes, video, and when possible screen recordings of the user’s process. Depending on the user the test took anywhere between 20-40 minutes. The scenarios were explained to users which were followed by particular tasks for our users to carry out.
- Scenario 1: Find a class
- Betty is from the Indianapolis area and wants to learn to blow glass. She needs to find the schedule for the class and sign up and pay. She also has a 9 year old daughter who is interested in taking art classes in the future.
- Scenario 2: Find an event
- Betty’s family is visiting and wants to find an event in the month of December, so she can choose dates for the event.
- Scenario 3: Find accessibility
- Betty’s 15 year old nephew is bound to a wheelchair, she will need to find out if the facilities can accommodate his needs.
- Scenario 4: Volunteer
- Last year Betty’s friend Susan volunteered at the Broad Ripple Festival and invited Betty and her daughter to join. Betty needs to find the sign-up information.
- Find a glassblowing class. Are additional supplies required for this class?
- Sign up for a class
- Pay for class
- Find age appropriate class for daughter
- Find an event in December with a specific date. So now imagine you are planning to visit the art center in December Can you find a specific event and date that interests you?
- Is there accessibility information available?
- Find the page for Broad Ripple Festival and identify the date.
- Find different opportunities to volunteer and sign up for one
Task 1: Find a glassblowing class and supplies
AVERAGE TIME ON TASK:: 2m 46s
Participants were asked to find the glassblowing class, then choose one to take after checking the detail, time, supplies, level, etc. From the graphs above, there are variances among users for time to finish this task. Two of the participants did not finish this task.
According to the participants, information overload is one pain point.
When the participants saw a plethora of different categories, some became overwhelmed andgave up searching for “glass class” in the list below and tried to use the global search.
However, the result after searching “glass” using search bar contains much more information than the prior page (screenshot below). Many information in this page is not relevant to glass class, but participants had to go through it to search useful information, which is time-consuming.
When participants finally found “Glass” and expected to view the class list of glass, the below page was shown. The participants had to search the useful information from a great deal of information. Additionally, one of the participants thought she finished task 1 when she went to this page because she thought it’s supposed to be the destination after the steps she had done. Therefore, extra information need to be removed; highlighting the core information; and making the path to the class much easier.
At this point, the user has to click on the "Click here to see all of our glassblowing...." link to be moved to the following page:
It’s still hard for participants to select a suitable class due to the small and light icons in this page. Our participants reflected that it took much time to notice the filter function and “quick view” to view the class detail. Participants cannot find the supplies due to the light icon too.
Task 2: Sign up for the class
AVERAGE TIME ON TASK: 2:59
The participants needed to sign up for the chosen class. Everyone finished this task with similar amount of time. The process of sign up for the class meets the expectation, so there is no big issue during this process.
Task 3: Pay for Class
AVERAGE TIME ON TASK: 2:41
As long as users logged in, the paying process seems to an easy task. It contains 2 steps, at first, to confirm the participant and the fee, as shown below.
After this, there is a 3-step process:
The tasks were easy to understand and the participants accomplished them easily. During this task, one of the users dropped out stating that there was frustration with getting lost between multiple home pages, but even after being redirected where expected with assistance, the user chose to drop like due to external factors.
Task 4: Find age appropriate class for daughter
AVERAGE TIME ON TASK: 2:26
After finding the course during a previous task, our participants became more familiar with this website as the result shows that they took less time to find a class for this task. However, the users still came across some problems during the process.
First, The youth classes are inconspicuous in the classes page. Three of the participants took a long time to find it in the list below (screenshot). Second, the age filter function is a little hard to be noticed, even though it is useful for participants to finish the task. Also, the age category and the age range seem to be the same function.
The recommendation is to add class picture beneath the class name in order to help users look through these courses more easily like below: