User-centered design and usability testing of a web site: An illustrative case study

  • Michael D. Corry
  • Theodore W. Frick
  • Lisa Hansen


Administrators at a large midwestern university recognized that their World Wide Web site was rapidly becoming an important factor in recruiting new students. They also expected this Web site to serve many different types of information needs for existing students, faculty, staff, and alumni. an interdisciplinary team of faculty, graduate students, and staff was formed to evaluate the existing Web site. A group from this team first conducted a needs analysis to determine the kinds of information the target population was seeking. This analysis led to the creation of a new information structure for the Web site. Usability tests of the both the new and old designs were conducted on paper. Users were able to find answers to frequently asked questions much more rapidly and successfully with the new information structure. This structure was further refined through additional usability tests conducted on the Web itself. This descriptive case study illustrates the value of user-centered design and usability testing of World Wide Web sites.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael D. Corry
    • 1
  • Theodore W. Frick
    • 2
  • Lisa Hansen
    • 2
  1. 1.the Educational Technology Leadership programGeorge Washington UniversityUSA
  2. 2.the Instructional Systems Technology departmentIndiana University BloomingtonUSA

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