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Usability Evaluation of the Governments Division Public Web Site

Jennifer Chen, Jenna Beck, Jennifer Romano, and Elizabeth D. Murphy



In February and March of 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Research Division (SRD) conducted a usability evaluation of a paper prototype of the Governments (GOVS) Division Web site. Staff externally recruited eight participants based on referral from the sponsor and test administrator. Participants completed ten pre-determined tasks designed specifically for the usability study. Four key findings were identified during the usability evaluation: 1) participants did not use the top-navigation controls; 2) terminology was confusing to participants; 3) labeling was often unclear; and 4) the Web-page prototypes attempted to present too much information. The usability staff discussed all recommendations with the project sponsors in the GOVS Division and those recommendations are also included in this report. Future changes to the GOVS site design should be evaluated for usability to maintain the iterative approach towards improvement adopted by the GOVS redesign team.

CITATION: Chen, Jennifer, Jenna Beck, Jennifer Romano, and Elizabeth D. Murphy. (2010). Statistical Research Division Study Series (Survey Methodology #2010-02). U.S. Census Bureau. Available online at <>.

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

Published online: January 21, 2010
Last revised: January 10, 2010

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