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A Usability Evaluation of the Monthly and Annual Wholesale Trade Survey Web Site

Jenna Beck and Elizabeth D. Murphy



In December 2007 and April 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau conducted usability evaluations on the Wholesale Trade Survey Web site. Previously, the Monthly and Annual Wholesale Trade Survey data and information were available on two Web sites. The first round of usability testing in December 2007 evaluated the new combined user interface before the Web site’s release to the public. Seven internal participants from the Census Bureau were recruited to help evaluate the user interface. Prior to the testing, participants completed an Internet experience form on which they reported their experience navigating Web sites and noted whether they had prior experience with the older, separate, Monthly or Annual Wholesale Trade Survey Web sites. From the first round of testing, the Usability Lab uncovered issues with the navigation and wording of the Web site. Prior to the Web site’s release to the public, changes were made to the user interface. The second round of usability testing was conducted in April 2008. Eight external participants were recruited from a database maintained by the Usability Lab to help evaluate the revised user interface. The methods used for the second round of testing were identical to the methods used during the first round of testing. This round of usability testing uncovered new issues and provided support/discounting evidence for the recommendations from the first round of usability testing. This report provides a summary of the findings of the usability evaluations. Recommendations are provided to improve the usability of the user interface in terms of user success and satisfaction. All recommendations were discussed with the project’s sponsor.

CITATION: Beck, Jenna & Murphy, Elizabeth D. A Usability Evaluation of the Monthly and Annual Wholesale Trace Survey Web Site. Statistical Research Division Study Series (Survey Methodology #2008-15). U.S. Census Bureau.

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

Created: October 20, 2008
Last revised: September 30, 2008

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