Monday 4 July 2011

Consultation and usability testing

We have begun the programme of consultation and usability testing and worked with some students from St Loyes college in Exeter who very kindly gave up some of their time last month to test our sites. Our web designers used the forms listed below and monitored students usage, making notes, while the students answered the questions and completed the usability test.
The results of these tests can be viewed in the spreadsheets below.
We would like to thank St Loyes for their help and time which really does make a difference and helps us greatly to improve our future online services. Their help will enable us to incorporate their user experiences into the conceptualization, design and development process and will help to provide an enhanced user friendly experience for all future site users.
Our request for feedback from members of the public and internal staff has been very low so a more prominent link has been placed on the homepage of the website (at the top of the site in a banner advert) to hopefully generate more interest and prompt you to give us your important views and ideas.
We did have a request through our call center asking:
‘Could we please include the email address on the homepage?’
The caller did not want to complete the general enquiry form but did want to email the force but it is not good practice to show direct email addresses on your site which leaves you very much open to a significant level of spam emails. It was explained that the forms are there to try and reduce the number of spam emails, but the caller was insistent that they wanted the choice.
This feedback is really useful and will enable us to examine how we can make our processes as easy to use as possible for our users, improving our online services and giving us a better understanding of what people want and how they use the site.
We are also planning to visit our local neighbourhood teams throughout Devon and Cornwall to seek their views on their use of the site. Your local teams are responsible for adding their own localised content and we will report back with these results as soon as we have spoken with them.
If you have any views on the information you would like to see on your local policing team pages or anything else web related please feel free to post a comment and we look forward to updating you on the latest progress in our next blog.


  1. Looked at the results but couldn't figure out what evaluation methodology was used. Perhaps Neilson's usability heuristics?

  2. We apologise for the slow reply.
    As such we weren't using any methodology. We have read many articles some online and some from magazines and books which gave many examples of usability studies and basically said just do it and so we did.
    “I really do think that the web would be a lot better if everybody was conducting their own usability testing,” Steve Krug on DIY usability testing form .net magazine.


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