Research Reports

You are here: Census.govSubjects A to ZResearch Reports Sorted by Year › Abstract of SSM2009/03
Skip top of page navigation

First-Round Usability Testing of the Redesigned Census Information Centers (CIC) Web Site

Kathleen T. Ashenfelter, Jennifer C. Romano, and Elizabeth D. Murphy


This first round of low-fidelity usability testing was planned and conducted in collaboration with the Census Information Centers (CIC) team as part of the longer-term redesign of the CIC Web site. The CIC Web site is currently being redesigned and updated to make it easier for a wide variety of users to find information. Screen captures of the previous version of the CIC Web site and the semi-functional prototype used for this round of testing can be found in Appendices A and B.

Prior to testing, the Statistical Research Division (SRD) and the CIC Web redesign team collaborated to write a series of tasks for participants to complete in order to gauge how efficient, accurate, and satisfactory their interaction was with the Web site. Three participants were recruited from the CIC/SDC annual conference at Census HQ and completed the testing between October 8 and October 10, 2008.

The results for all three participants exceeded the pre-defined goals for efficiency, accuracy, and satisfaction. The overall Accuracy score was 80%, which was above the predefined goal set for this study of 70%. Overall, the participants completed the tasks in an average completion time (i.e., efficiency score) of 1 minute 9 seconds; both easy and hard tasks had average efficiency scores of under 1 minute, and these times met the goals for this testing. Likewise, the overall satisfaction score was 7.1, which is well above the predefined goal of a 5 or better.

Future rounds of testing are planned on more functional versions of the Web site.

CITATION: Ashenfelter, Kathleen T., Romano, Jennifer C., and Murphy, Elizabeth D. (2009). "First-Round Usability Testing of the Redesigned Census Information Centers (CIC) Web Site." Statistical Research Division Study Series (Survey Methodology #2009-03). U.S. Census Bureau. Available online at <>.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Research Division

Published online: February 24, 2009
Last revised: February 4, 2009

[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Reader® Off Site available free from Adobe.

This symbol Off Site indicates a link to a non-government web site. Our linking to these sites does not constitute an endorsement of any products, services or the information found on them. Once you link to another site you are subject to the policies of the new site.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Statistical Research Division | (301) 763-3215 (or |   Last Revised: October 08, 2010