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The Census Bureauís Usability Lab conducted two baseline studies of the existing American Community Survey (ACS) Web site in 2009. A baseline study with novice participants was conducted in July 2009, and a baseline study with expert users was conducted in October 2009. Eight participants were recruited for the novice baseline study, and seventeen participants were recruited for the expert baseline study. All participants completed pre-determined Web site tasks while using the current ACS Web site. Tasks were designed by the Usability Lab and the ACS redesign team to reflect the type of questions that novice and expert users might use the ACS Web site to answer. Testing determined that both novices and experts found the site organization to be unclear, terminology and labels to be confusing, the search unhelpful, and dense text difficult to read. These and other findings from the two baseline usability studies done on the ACS Web site will be discussed in this report.
Jennifer Chen, Temika Holland, Erica Olmsted-Hawala, and Andy Su. (2010). Baseline Usability Evaluation of the American Community Survey Web site with Novices and Expert Users. Statistical Research Division Study Series (Survey Methodology #2010-09).U.S. Census Bureau. Available online at <http://www.census.gov/srd/papers/pdf/ssm2010-09.pdf>.