GSA Intranet Test Results
Not all usability changes are dramatic. The First Fridays team tested an intranet page for GSA on September 21, 2011. The testers identified the following key problems:
- The wording used to identify pages was not clear. The use of program names and acronyms were not sufficient to guide unfamiliar users to the area they needed to go in order to find the answers.
- The use of sliders in the left-hand side navigation bar confused users and their purpose was not immediately evident to most.
- The categories within each slider category were not intuitively arranged, and did not use plain language.
GSA took the feedback from the First Fridays testing and made some changes to the existing design. While seemingly small, the changes made a huge difference in the usability of the site for GSA employees. The below screen capture was taken one month later in October of 2012.
- The links identified as the most important for regular visitors of the page were broken into two categories and given a permanent place where the sliding section once was.
- The sliding section was eliminated entirely, but the area remained visually similar. This eased confusion over how the sliding boxes worked, but left the information in a location users were familiar with.
- Acronyms and program names were given brief explanations using plain language for clarity.