Hacettepe University (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 345-353
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Nowadays, it is becoming important to ensure the effective usage of various artifacts like electronic or non-electronic devices, different kind of systems, web sites, software, and etc., which have a potential of being used by a specific target user group and which were produced for serving a specific goal. The issues related to the adoption of these artifacts such as decision to use and maintaining usage, usage without problems or errors, correct usage for intended goal, providing effective outcomes and interaction between product and user, seem to be related with usability context.
There is a misconception that usability of web sites other than commercial ones is not that important; however, usability is an important issue for all the web sites to their achieve goals. For example, because web sites in educational contexts like school or university web sites and other academic sites have an informative and guidance function for students, teachers, academicians and other members of this process, their usability concern is essential.
From this point of view, it is aimed in this study to determine usability problems of a university departmental web site by authentic users and authentic tasks and also to suggest solutions to these problems.
The study group was consisted of 9 participants including 4 undergraduate students and 5 academicians as being 4 of them research assistants who are graduate students and one instructor. Study is designed by recording the process of authentic task performance of authentic users in department web site and analyzing of these records. 7 of the participants’ task performance processes were recorded on computer by Captivate program as a video with mouse clicks and time. Additionally 2 of the participants’ task performance processes and eye movements during this process were recorded by eye tracking machine. In the data analyzes, recordings from task process were analyzed and the issues for which users had difficulties with, the issues which users hesitated while performing, the time spent on each task, repeated tasks, successful tasks or unsuccessful tasks were discovered comparatively with observer notes. Also eye tracking data was analyzed by number of fixation and fixation length data on area of interest regions. Usability problems are determined based on the findings and solutions to these problems are suggested.
Usability, educational interfaces, authentic users, authentic task.