Let's be clear...


  • Why and When

    In order to have an effective website – one that is both usable and that meets the aims of the organisation – there has to be clarity about:

    • The target users
    • The goals they wish to achieve
    • The user goals the site is to support

    What matters is that target users can quickly and easily achieve their goals, and achieving these meets the site owner’s strategy and is seen as valuable by the user. Therefore, a web site needs a clear strategy that should be developed at the start of a project.

  • Our Approach

    We offer a range of services to help organisations develop appropriate site strategies, including user research to understand user goals, and workshops for senior managers to develop site strategies. One cost effective solution is a one day ‘Strategic Workshop’.



    This is aimed at senior managers with responsibility for setting, or who can influence, web strategy.

    In order that participants gain a first hand understanding of user goals and behaviours, we inform these workshops by filming a number of users on the site and showing this at the start of the workshop.

    The workshop is highly interactive; participants record issues using cognitive mapping techniques in order to capture their immediate reactions to the testers’ experiences.

    Subsequently, a Web Usability consultant facilitates a discussion so that participants develop a collective view of the key issues to be addressed, the implications of these, and the required actions and priorities.

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  • How we do it

    In these workshops, we aim to gain an understanding of problems faced on the site, agree user types and organisational site aims and make recommendations about the site development process.



    The workshop is most effective if it is attended by a range of personnel from across the organisation including:

    • Managers responsible for developing web strategy or who influence this
    • Web team staff responsible for implementing the outcomes
    • People who have direct contact with the organisation’s customers or users
    • Workshops work well with 10-15 participants, but up to 20 can be accommodated.

    User testing

    Prior to the workshop, Web Usability will record a small number of users (typically three) from different target audiences to obtain video footage to illustrate the key issues. The profile of the testers is agreed with the client. Web Usability recruits the testers and conducts the testing sessions at our premises, capturing an image of the tester, sound and a screen shot of the site as it is viewed. The testers are asked to explore the site and undertake tasks relevant to the user by an experienced Web Usability moderator. These tasks are agreed in advance with the client’s project manager.

    Workshop Agenda

    A typical workshop agenda is as follows:

    • 10.00-10.10: Welcome
    • 10.10-11.15: Video clips of 3 different users to demonstrate the major issues/cognitive mapping of issues by observers
    • 11.15-12:45: Facilitated workshop discussion of issues arising from video leading to identification of major site problems and key user groups
    • 12.45-13:30: Lunch
    • 13:30-14:15 Breakout groups to identify user goals
    • 14:15-14:45: Group presentation of user goals – workshop discussion
    • 14:45-15:15: Cognitive mapping and facilitated discussion about site aims, and discussion leading to agreement about user goals to be supported
    • 15:15-15.30: Discussion on how to produce a user centred web site (illustrated by case study)
    • 15.30-16.00: Development of recommendations for a process for site development
    • 16.00: Close and depart

    Practical issues

    Usually, the client provides the venue, refreshments and audiovisual equipment (though we can arrange these if required at additional cost). The following is required:

    • LCD projector and screen
    • Sound
    • Lap top with internet connection (we can bring our own but need to be able to connect to the internet)
    • 4-5 flip charts
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  • Outputs

    Following the workshop we would produce a short report that captures the key issues and conclusions.