Usability Findings Report – August 2012

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In August 2012 we produced a report to share our findings with partner agencies. This was to show them common issues and also set a baseline for acceptable usability.
At the same time we also collated observations from Neilson’s usability week lectures that several staff members attended.

Here are the documents:

The SE findings summarise as:

Layout & Design issues

  1. Right hand blocks are totally ignored unless they look really boring and are relevant to the page.
  2. Too many calls to action are “below the fold”
  3. Headers are too deep and push content below the fold
  4. Calls to action are not clear within the content
  5. Banners are a “Hit or Miss” affair and take up too much prime real estate at the top of pages
  6. Typography can aggravate or bore people
  7. People expect website to look and behave like every other website they use


  1. People get lost on our sites. There are no breadcrumbs and navigation bars do not provide enough visual cues
  2. Obscure Terms like “IYC2012” are totally wasted as navigation options
  3. Common website behaviour leads people to believe that greyed out options are not available.
  4. Hyperlinks are too subtle.
  5. PDF links are too prominent
  6. User journeys that jump between sites confuse customers
  7. Sectors Suck…

Language & Content

  1. Customers want to see their language and not ours
  2. Content needs to make sense no matter what context it is in. Customers may have hit this page directly from search
  3. PDF’s do not work as website replacements. They are normally well received but almost always break the user journey. also tend to contain the wrong call’s to action for online consumption.
  4. Calls to action need to be more prominent in blocks of content or at the bottom of pages
  5. People spell things wrong. Keep it simple
  6. Headings are critical. They vary between Active and Questioning. Customers often commented “What do you want me to do”

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