SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] Survey Advice
Re: [Sigia-l] Survey Advice
From: Samantha Bailey (a2slb_at_earthlink.net)
Date: Fri Feb 07 2003 - 14:29:01 EST
This is something we've encountered recently at Wachovia in our usability
tests, which always include questions both at the beginning/end and during
the session. Our usability engineer recommended that we not use terminology
like "navigation" with the idea that it would not necessarily be readily
understood by our general user population, so we asked questions like "how
did you know where you were on the site" and "how did you decide where to go
The thing that really surprised me was the degree to which most of our user
population appeared either confused by or unaware of our navigation
options--even as they were successfully using them. By this I mean that
users successfully completed tasks, oriented themselves in the site and
confidently moved around (well, some of the time ;) *but* they did not seem
to grasp that there was a navigation scheme in place and they did not seem
to know (or, interestingly to care) that the navigation was functioning in a
systematic way. It was more as though they were pleasantly surprised when
they found the options they needed but they were focused on the information
or completing the task and gave little thought to the navigation and how it
I thought that users were going to be more sophisticated in talking about
navigation, an assumption that probably comes from working with techies.
Interestingly, and importantly: they were able to use the site and the
navigation functions very capably even though they didn't appear to really
understand them (or care whether they did or not, or care to learn more). So
our conclusion was that providing clear, consistent, functional navigation
was very important but it did remind us that from our users perspective the
navigation system isn't what matters, it's the finding/getting there however
RE your second question: I generally use a two step process where I ask the
open ended question first and then get responses to lists/categories second,
so as not to bias users with the list right off the bat. I usually use these
approaches in tandem rather than just one or the other.
samantha_at_baileysorts.com | http://baileysorts.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kristina M. Voros Connell" <kvoros_at_si.umich.edu>
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 1:54 PM
Subject: [Sigia-l] Survey Advice
> I am a graduate student at University of Michigan's School of Information.
> For one of my group projects I am evaluating a website geared towards
> college freshman and sophmores. Part of this evaluation involves sending
> out a survey.
> I am wondering if the general population would understand a question like
> "The navigation of the site makes sense. (1: Strongly Disagree -- 5:
> Strongly Agree)" Is the word "navigation" something general users would
> understand or is it more of an industry term? Any ideas for alternatives?
> Also, when asking about various services that people have used on the
> site, is it better to provide a list of possible services or ask an open
> ended question asking them which services they have used?
> Kristina Voros Connell
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When replying, please *trim your post* as much as possible.
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:55:36 EST