Last April (2009), Irish Deaf Kids (now Sound Advice) received an Innovation Voucher worth €5,000 from Enterprise Ireland, to be used to solve a business issue. The Innovation Voucher initiative, introduced in 2007 by Enterprise Ireland, aims to create links between Irish knowledge providers and small businesses.
To qualify for an Innovation Voucher, a company must have a business issue that needs resolution. This can range from a new process or product development to designing a new business model, or a new service.
IDK used its Innovation Voucher in exchange for a website usability study conducted by the National e- Learning Laboratory (NELL) at the National College of Ireland (NCI). The objective was to better identify what exactly visitors want from IDK’s website and to make it more user-friendly.
During the usability tests at NCI’s e-learning laboratory, five volunteer testers were observed and analysed using video and sound recording, eye-tracking, precision keyboard & mouse logging and screen-capture.
The testers were asked to open the IDK website and find information on specific areas, such as educational support and teacher services, after being given an initial scenario. Post-session interviews and questionnaires were conducted using the same methodology with de-brief interviews.
Users were found to be very satisfied with the website, which they would recommend to a friend or colleague, and to any teacher or parent of a deaf child. All users thought the site had very beneficial information for teachers and professionals working with deaf children.
A two-page executive summary of the usability research conducted and of the users’ experience is available in PDF format.
If you are interested in reading the full usability report, please send an email with the request to Irish Deaf Kids (now Sound Advice) at the given email address.
We are very grateful to Beatrice Ruscelli for writing this summary and other pieces during her internship with IDK, and wish her all the best.