Performance Improvement 2007. How Can a Web Site Be Made Easier for the Public to Use?

01/01/2007

Summary:

This study assessed the performance of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Web site (http://www.nibib.nih.gov) by measuring audience satisfaction and ease-of-use. The Web site provides mission-related information to federal agency staff, extramural researchers, health professionals, educators, students, and patients. Researchers observed 16 federal agency staff, researchers, health professionals, educators, students and patients as they performed tasks on the web site, and recorded specific barriers to task performance. The contractor asked participants to rate their satisfaction with the site, its ease-of use and measured how quickly they were able to perform the tasks. The researchers used coding forms to tally the occurrence and frequency of repetitive issues and key usability problems as they arose.

Participants in this small sample found that the site was easy-to-use and provided valuable information. The contractor provided specific recommendations for enhancing the website and a list of prioritized action items. Suggested website improvements included: restructuring the footer to include the organization's mailing address, including an "About Us" section linked to from the home page, and re-writing content using more plain language.

Report Title: Result of Usability Testing of the NIBIB Redesigned Web Site http://aspe.hhs.gov/pic/fullreports/06/8463.pdf
Agency Sponsor: NIH, National Institutes of Health
Federal Contact: Kester, Mary Beth, 301-402-1465
Performer: Z-Tech; Rockville, MD
PIC ID: 8463

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