usability study | Greater BANK
In 2011, I was working independently as a content strategist and usability consultant. One of my contracts was with the Greater Bank, who hired me to complete an intranet usability study for them.
The Greater Bank had launched a new intranet site in 2009, primarily managed by the internal Communications team. They were wrestling with the challenges of maintaining an ever-growing volume of content, while sustaining workable publishing and maintenance processes. The project brief was:
Determine major causes of low intranet usage and make recommendations to define future direction of the intranet, ensuring alignment with corporate strategy.
Task-based usability testing
Heuristic evaluation of the site
I conducted this study on my own, and was given 4 weeks to complete it.
In the first week my primary goals were:
Interview executive and SME stakeholders to better understand post-study project constraints.*
Set up diary studies to give participants a logging period of 5 days.
*The stakeholder interviews provided valuable insights that helped me prioritise research efforts, and determine the best approach for final recommendations.
In terms of usage, user and information statistics, I analysed search engine logs, content metadata, page visits, and existing research: results from a staff survey conducted 12 months prior.
USER RESEARCH & ANALYSIS
Workplace observation included attending content meetings and content editor training. I also conducted one-on-one contextual inquiries in various work environments: the call centre, Communications office, the front desk of a local branch, and at the desks of office workers in non-customer-facing roles.
In total I completed 5 user interviews, 6 shorter contextual inquiry interviews, and collected data from 12 diary studies. I also attempted some task-based usability testing with some of the participants.
For thematic analysis of the user interviews and diary studies I used affinity mapping to find common problem and usage categories. For reporting purposes I fed the data into a spreadsheet, making it easier to display the results to stakeholders, sorted by different views. For example, sorting by problem category, intranet content category, or user type.
This was the first time I had conducted a study of this size on my own. Completing it in 4 weeks proved to be challenging, but I managed to conduct and compile all of the research in that time. I did, however, need to ask for an extra week to write the report.
I cannot make the entire report publicly available, but a redacted version is available on request. Please email me directly, or use the contact form on my about page.