Sweetening the web experience: insights from user testing

Daniela de Leon
Thursday 28 September 2023

The digicomms team has started a brand new venture – user testing! During Orientation Week, we asked students their thoughts on our most recent projects.

Navigating the vast expanse of a university website can sometimes be daunting. Recognising this challenge, our Digital Communications team is pioneering a transformative approach: the introduction of guides. This innovation centralises information, turning generic web pages into easily searchable guides, such as How to register with a GP’.

To ensure that our new initiative aligns with user needs, we conducted a user testing session. Stationed outside the University Library, and equipped with a range of chocolates (and skittles!), we engaged students in hands-on user testing of our course search and guides. 

Table set up outside with papers and chocolate sweets
Our table outside the Library all ready to go

We asked students to search through guides to find information that would be useful to them. They then gave us feedback through a qualitative survey. What we found was overwhelmingly positive. Students expressed appreciation for the streamlined access to information, commenting that the course search was “easy and straightforward to use” and that guides were “super helpful with stuff that usually confuses students”. 

Students speak to a staff member sitting at a table outside the Library
Students were very helpful with their feedback

These results have reinforced our strategy, showing that the guides format successfully provides students with the information they need most. Based on this feedback, we’ll be rolling out guides for other sections of the website. We’re also committed to continual user testing throughout our development cycle, ensuring that student needs remain at the forefront.

Overall, the insights gained from the session have proven to be invaluable. By hearing directly from students, we will be able to refine our digital strategy and make sure that the University website is a useful and accessible tool for everyone. Based on this round of user testing’s success, we plan to do a lot more user testing soon.

So look out for a chance to give us your feedback (and get some sweet treats!) coming to an area near you…

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