During the final testing and evaluation period, I carried out some user testing to check the usability, accessibility and general aesthetics of the site. The user testing was carried out with 10 individuals with ages ranging from 13 to 74, however they are all web users so know the basic functionality of the web.
This process involved observing the participants whilst they were on the site and they were asked to think out loud so I could understand the thought process better. This task generally went well and they all agreed that the web site was self-explanatory with clear headings and the ability to return to the home screen using the logo. I was satisfied that the site is user-friendly.
The next stage of the process involved asking the participants questions about the website. Here is the list of questions in full –
1. What is your opinion on the colours?
2. What is rMusic?
3. What does rMusic do?
4. What functions would you add to the site, if any?
5. Does the website make you want to read more?
6. How clear is the information on the site?
7. Would you return to the site?
When the participants were asked about the colour palette used on the site, I received comments such as ‘Modern’, Up-to-date’ and ‘Appropriate for the style of the website’. One participant did mention that it might be a good idea to change the images on each page to make the pages more individualized, however the colour overlay brings unity to the site.
When asked ‘What is rMusic?’, the participants didn’t know how to answer which leads to believe that my site needs a mission statement that is clear and obvious on the home page so people know exactly what rMusic is about. I received answers such as ‘A charity?’ and ‘A Music Therapy site’. This is something that I will adjust on the website.
When asked ‘What does rMusic do?’, the participants again didn’t know how to respond but the answers were a bit more accurate with comments such as ‘a website for people’s stories about music’ and ‘a site that helps with mental health’. This is something I will improve on when writing the mission statement.
Question 4 was ‘What functions would you add to the site, if any?’, and only one responded with a few features such as ‘Add a short sentence on the home page about what rMusic is’, which is something that I am looking into anyway. Another feature was a dropdown menu or search bar, which is something that I will be looking into once there are more stories however I personally do not think there is a need for a dropdown menu or search bar when there are only a few stories to look at.
When asking the participants ‘Does this website make you want to read more?’, I received mostly positive comments such as ‘Yes it makes me want to follow social media pages to keep up to date’ and ‘The short abstracts make you want to keep reading the stories’, however, one did say that Music Therapy isn’t their thing so they wouldn’t like to read more.
The participants all agreed that the information within the site was clear, as it used ‘informal language’ and had ‘readable text’, therefore it was ‘easy to read’.
The last question was ‘Would you return to the site?’ and the participants answered with 70% (7 out of 10) saying yes and 30% (3 out of 10) saying no as there was no reason to use the site however they would recommend to someone who might be interested in music therapy.
Overall, I think the user testing was useful and the main points to improve on would be to 1. Include a mission statement, 2. Change the images within the site to add variation and 3. Change the block texts to short statements so users can skim read and still understand.