Thursday, April 24, 2008

We're not testing you, we're testing the website.

Six high school juniors made their way to the former rubber factory that is home to mStoner in Chicago. Henry Broaddus and I watched intently as Patrick DiMichele or Sarah Weidaw asked each student to perform a series of tasks on a mockup of the new W&M site.

I wish the room had been big enough for all of you to be flies on the wall. It was fascinating, rewarding, and even a little nerve-wracking to observe the prospective college students surfing our site. Fortunately, a detailed report of the usability testing will be prepared by mStoner. Until then, here are a few of my anecdotal observations:
  • Almost without exception, students clicked on Admission to find the cost of tuition; and on Campus Life to find out about student clubs.

  • Almost all of the students commented about the beautiful photos of the W&M campus.

  • Many of the student testers suggested that we make the list of "majors and minors" easier to find.

  • Lots of students mentioned that they'd like to see more about athletics on the site.

  • A good number of the students indicated that they would enjoy reading student blogs.
By the way, we're not done yet . . . we're in the midst of testing 10 more juniors as I publish this post.

posted by Susan Evans

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