Ross Business School Usability Study

At the University of Michigan School of Information, I worked on a team project for SI 622: Evaluation of Systems and Services for the Michigan Ross School of Business, on the evaluation and analysis of their public site, in a project we called Project Ross. I worked with my team in conducting extensive usability evaluation and testing, and in the creation of written reports and deliverables for both the class and our client. By working closely with our client contacts, the advertising and media division of Ross, we were able to run through many levels and varieties of testing, including an interaction map, user interviews and developed personas and scenarios, a comparative evaluation of direct and indirect competitors, extensive user surveying across primary and secondary user groups, heuristic evaluations of the site by the project team, and finally in-person recorded and evaluated user testing of the site itself.

During the course of the study, the team presented each deliverable as a written report and short presentation to the Ross advertising and media team, and addressed their concerns and evaluations of our work. At the conclusion of the study, we also created and presented our findings as a large-scale final presentation, both for the class and our client, who had brought in staff members from other divisions to be informed about our work, and the status of their public site. They expressed gratitude for our work, which would allow them to concisely present concerns and the need for a revitalized site to their superiors.

Personally, I learned quite a bit from this experience, not only in learning the analysis techniques themselves, but in learning to operate closely with clients and users, and address their concerns effectively and efficiently. I also was personally responsible for creating the interaction map, and setting up the recording and testing usability systems. I also personally conducted most of the interviews, and the subsequent persona and scenario designs, which both I and the clients found extremely useful. In addition, I was able to gain experience with working with my team, and working on methods of cooperative work for our papers and deliverables.

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