Session Details

The Nittany Leopard: How Usability Testing Informed the Penn State Website Redesign

#UAD11 Usability, Accessibility and Design Track

Room 106A


For the first time in over a decade, Penn State University launched a full website redesign in February 2013. A team assembled from various departments across the University worked to incorporate a wide range of research, user feedback, and usability testing into the redesign. Led by Sara Simcox, Penn State’s Assistant Director of Research and Planning, and Dave Housley, Manager of Web Strategy for Penn State Outreach, this presentation steps through the way research informed each phase of this process, including benchmarking, analytics, usability testing, card sorting, testing and analysis of the various elements of the feature "slider" area in order to optimize the level of user engagement, clicktracking tests on wireframes and design comps, "live wireframe" testing, and post-launch testing and analysis. This presentation will share the unexpected and anticipated results, along with follow-up actions, through development and after site launch. We'll share testing goals, methods, and analysis, with an eye toward what attendees may want to bring back to their own work. Attendees will gain a greater understanding of usability testing and the manner in which results can be applied throughout the process of website development and even after a site launch, as well as a feel for the range of affordable usability testing resources that are available.


Dave Housley
Manager of Web Strategy, Penn State Outreach Marketing

Dave Housley is the manager of web strategy for Penn State Outreach Marketing. He's managed websites for Penn State's World Campus, and several nonprofit and government organizations, including The World Wildlife Fund, The Peace Corps and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

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