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HECO17: Online tools for content and user research

Amy Grace Wells
June 11, 2017

HECO17: Online tools for content and user research

Amy Grace Wells

June 11, 2017


  1. Online tools for content and user research Amy Grace Wells,

    Content Strategist/UX Research Graceful Content Higher Ed Content Conference ~ #HECO17
  2. User Research Facts • A typical usability test can cost

    $12,000 to $18,000 depending on the agency. • Usability testing only requires five to eight subjects to find 80% of issues. • The average site has 11 usability catastrophes. (design elements that prevent users from completing test tasks) Source: Nielsen Norman Group #HECO17 @amygracewells
  3. Know before you start It can take 39 hours to

    usability test a website the first time you try. The process includes planning the test, defining test tasks, recruiting test users, conducting a test with five users, analyzing the results, and writing the report. With experience, web user tests can be completed in two work days . Source: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/cost-of-user-testing-a-website/ #HECO17 @amygracewells
  4. Usability and Content Issue Effects • In a NNGroup study,

    48% of users didn’t realize that the university offered the program that they were looking for. – Fewer applications – More help inquiries • More dependence on search • Unable to complete key tasks Source: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/university-sites/ #HECO17 @amygracewells
  5. Optimal Workshop #HECO17 @amygracewells • Options start with a free

    account for small studies. 50% discount offered for education! • Best for card sorts or tree testing. • Excellent reporting options including results matrix
  6. Hotjar hotjar.com • Options start with a free basic plan

    that tops out at 2K page views/day. They offer non- profit discounts. • All features track and work on desktop, mobile and tablet versions. • Best for heatmaps, form analysis, and visitor recordings. #HECO17 @amygracewells
  7. Validately validately.com • Perhaps the priciest of these tools, but

    still below $2500/year. Unsure if they offer discounts. • Their motto is “Take the pain out of user testing” and it is true! • Test on mobile or desktop. Moderated or unmoderated. • Screen and sound recording. #HECO17 @amygracewells
  8. Hemingway App hemingwayapp.com • Free browser-based version or buy the

    desktop app for $20. • It highlights wordy sentences in yellow and more egregious ones in red. It provides reading level and highlights adverbs, passive voice, and dull, complicated words. • Great to use with academic stakeholders or in a UX review. #HECO17 @amygracewells
  9. BoardThing boardthing.com • Free accounts • Functionality includes creating cards

    with text or images, move/arrange cards on collaborative boards, organize into groups, export in multiples ways. • Great for visual look at content audits and IA structures. • Include goals, key functionality, or quotes from users #HECO17 @amygracewells
  10. Mural mural.co • Go beyond Basecamp collaboration! • University teachers

    and students can use for free. (I assume this includes administrators.) • Online visual brainstorming, idea evaluation, and planning. A combination of whiteboard and bulletin board. #HECO17 @amygracewells