Why was it important to make sure that the blog system is easy to use?
- to encourage take-up amongst students and staff. It doesn't matter how many clever features a system has, if it's not easy to use then people will not use it!
- to reduce the levels of support needed. The blog system has a high number of users. If the system is really easy to use, then the users will need less help in terms of training, documentation and help desk support.
Student focus group
10 students attended a focus group early in the development of Warwick Blogs.
Paper prototype testing
Paper prototyping is a widely used method for desigining, testing and refining user interfaces. We implemented this technique to investigate the usability of our early design concepts for the blogs sytem during March 2004.
Testing the prototype with a pilot group
We were also interested to discover how students blog and what they blog about. We evaluated an early version of the blog system with a group of ten students. The students were asked to create 30 entries and answer questions that were 'pushed' into their blog over a period of four weeks. During this time they were asked to give us feedback via an on-line forum and at the end of the four week period, they were asked to attend a feedback session.