Re: if you had 60 seconds to evaluate a support web page, what would you look for

Subject: Re: if you had 60 seconds to evaluate a support web page, what would you look for
From: Kathleen MacDowell <kathleen -dot- eamd -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Technical Writing Plus <doc-x -at- earthlink -dot- net>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2010 20:26:01 -0600

People's take on John's questions are quite interesting to me, because I
couldn't really figure out what their purpose was.

IF you want to have people evaluate a site or article, it would be much
better to have them do tasks and ask them questions at the time than have
them answer a questionnaire. You can also just watch them and see how long
it takes them to find things, if they give up, etc.

I suspect that you've read Steve Krug's books; if not, I especially
recommend "Rocket Surgery." It should only take you a couple of hours to
read, and he's set up a framework that extremely easy to adapt and follow.
If you've already read it, maybe a brief review would give you some new
ideas. Believe it or not, he recommends only using 5 people at a time,
though he recommends frequent testing. (I found the number hard to swallow
at first, but evidently it's generally accepted)

http://www.sensible.com/rocketsurgery/index.html

His publisher also has a brief video that shows how easy it can be to do a
usability test.

http://www.peachpit.com/promotions/promotion.aspx?promo=137602

Another valuable aspect of the book is his tips on giving feedback so you
get results.

I also agree with most of the general advice others have given.

Good luck no matter how you proceed.

Kathleen

On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 2:03 PM, Technical Writing Plus <doc-x -at- earthlink -dot- net
> wrote:

> JOHN, Here is my detailed take on what you have written. Hope that it will
> help you.
>
> Comments inline below. My comments have to do, mainly, with the wording.
> The topics seem to be ok but then again I do not have experience in Web
> Usability.
>
> The general comments that people gave earlier seemed that they would have
> been of help, but I realize that this project is already near completion.
>
> Still, that 'basic' stuff that people were talking about just has to be 100
> percent perfect and good, otherwise people, volunteer people included, will
> become turned off, as Gene was saying. Jim Jones
>
> -----Original Message-----
> >Sent: Dec 21, 2010 11:53 AM
>
> >OK...odd question.
>
> Jim: Not so odd, methinks.
> >
> >I have about 1100+ public support web pages where I need to do an
> >objective evaluation of subjective criteria. This evaluation will be
> >done by a few "volunteers" over the next few days.
>
> Jim: Does public support mean for a government agency or does it simply
> mean on the behalf of a private company but the pages will eventually become
> open to the public (or to users of its product)?
> >
> >I need some ideas on what you might look for. BTW...I'm submitting my
> >recommendations at 5pm today, but no rush :-)
> >As a start, to give the question perspective, here's what I'm thinking so
> far:
>
>
> Jim: Basically, I'm looking for 'good' and that, as related to the Web,
> means that no time is wasted, things do exactly what you would expect of
> them, etc.
>
> As people were saying earlier too - human contact (the ability/choice to
> have that if necessary) and good navigation are critical, for each page.
> >
> >Content
> >Using the Concept/Task/Reference set of categories, does the article
> >contain mixed or is it clearly in a category
> >2 â Fits category
> >1 â Mixed Categories
> >0 â Doesnât match category
>
> Jim: What does 'Concept/Task/Reference' mean? Will this expression make
> sense to users? Here is my rewrite of this question:
>
> Does the article fit clearly into exactly one category, does it fit into a
> mix of categories, or does it just not match?
>
> >2 â Fits category
> >1 â Mixed Categories
> >0 â Doesnât match category
>
> >
> >Does the content match the title
> >Coming to an article because of the title, is the content what you
> expected
> >3 â Close Match
> >2 â Vague Match
> >1 â No Match
>
> Jim: I'd have 'Does the content match the title of the article [for all
> articles]?'
> >
> >Does the content seem easy to read, attractive, and make sense?
> >3 â Attractive and makes sense
> >2 â Makes sense but is not attractive
> >1 â Not what I would want my customer to see
> >0 â This seems to be a really horrible article
>
> Jim: I'd use 'relevant' and not 'attractive.'
> >
> >
> >Graphics
> >Are they clear. If you were a Customer, would the graphic appear
> >clear, both visually and you understand what you are looking for
> >3 â All graphics are clear and seem appropriate contextually
> >2 â Some graphics are unclear and need to be retaken
> >1 â All graphics are unclear and need to be retaken
> >0 â Article doesnât have graphics
>
> Jim: Does 'Are they clear' mean 'Do they communicate what you were
> expecting/what needs to be communicated?'
> >
> >Are they sized appropriately
> >When viewed, does the graphic appear sized correctly, or does it shift
> >text incorrectly or cause an increase to size of bottom scroll bar
> >3- All graphics are sized correctly
> >2 â Some graphics are sized correctly
> >1 â All graphics need to be re sized
> >0 â Article doesnât have graphics
>
> Jim: Good, but I'd have it say 'Are all graphics the appropriate size?'
> >
> >Do they contribute to the understanding that words alone canât
> >If the graphics were removed, could the meaning be conveyed as well
> >through words
> >3 â All graphics are needed
> >2 â Some graphics can be eliminated
> >1 â No graphics are necessary
> >0 â Article doesnât have graphics
>
> Jim: I'd ask 'Are all of the graphics necessary -- does each graphic
> contribute to your understanding of content?
> >
> >Can they be substituted by keyboard characters
> >Are any graphics keyboard symbols that could be replaced by keyboard
> characters
> >3 â All the graphics could be replaced
> >2 â Some of the graphics can be replaced
> >1 â No graphics can be replaced
> >0 â Article doesnât have graphics
> >
>
> Jim: I'd ask 'Can any of the graphics be replaced by keyboard charaters?'
>
> >Links
> >Are all the links descriptive of what they are linking to (or do they
> >say something like âClick hereâ)
> > Correct:
> > See EKB article "Article Name"
> > Incorrect:
> > Click here
> >3 â All the links need to be redone
> >2 â Some of the links need to be redone
> >1 â No links need to be redone
> >0 â Article doesnât have links
>
> Jim: I'd have two separate questions here. Apparently it is ok to have
> both the descriptive wording and the click here type of link.
> >
> >
> >Meta tags
> > Description:
> > Keywords
>
> Jim: I do not know.
>
>
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--
Kathleen MacDowell
kathleen -dot- eamd -at- gmail -dot- com
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Re: if you had 60 seconds to evaluate a support web page, what would you look for: From: 'Technical Writing Plus'

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