Testing my ideas

I presented my preliminary website to three individuals for feedback regarding design clarity and ease in understanding the project’s content. Two of the individuals are students at Seattle Pacific University. The third individual is a young professional in his upper twenties. These three individuals are seasoned web users; they are comfortable with interactive media and spend the majority of their time on the internet— the main characteristics of my target audience.

I allowed the users to scroll through the content at their own pace. In all three instances, they followed the narrative naturally using the circular arrow links (rather than the highlighted horizontal navigation bar). This is the ideal circumstance, since the arrows help to define the narrative as a linear sequence, and the highlighted page titles are a secondary read that aid in defining the content of what the viewer is consuming.

One of the viewers, a grammar Nazi of sorts, helped to identify several copy conflicts. He encouraged me to refer to RTS,S as the vaccine instead of a vaccine, in order to accurately communicate that the entire piece is referring to a single cure. We also debated the wording “half of a billion” and settled on this phrasing instead of the previously used copy of “half a billion.”

All three users missed several interactive elements of the site. This has, in turn, caused me to reevaluate their integration into the piece, not in removing them, but rather subtly identifying their presence to the audience as they reveal pertinent pieces of information.

Of the three to view the site, one user mentioned that some of the body copy was difficult to read. She attributed this strain to its small size, yet it was the same pixel size as other text that she felt was fine in its presentation. Thus, this confusion I believe is caused by text color rather than size. Against the dark background, the white text creates too great a visual vibration that makes it difficult to read. I hope to receive additional feedback in class, but feel that perhaps greying the text might solve this legibility concern.

Overall, the feedback was positive — the test users understood the purpose of the site and grasped the information within a few minutes. The curiosity spawned by the title “half4half” was inspiring enough to propel them to read further (and this elusive campaign name was subtly identified on the fourth page without needing further explanation).

One of the users even asked for more interactive elements in the piece. I am hesitant about fulfilling this request simply because I do not wish to detract from the project’s purpose by overwhelming the user with too many unstable elements. The interactive introductions up to this point are meant to reveal additional information so as to not clutter the visual presentation. In this regard, if the user did not roll over any responsive portion of the website, they would still walk away with the main message. I am not trying to hide content or important information.

My proud moment happened when one user followed with her mouse the circular bits of information on the first page before clicking the arrow to the next page. I intended these graphical elements to do exactly that — lead the viewer through the introduction and to the next page into the heart of the narrative and the content. This introduction has to incite interest and propel them forward, and I believe, per the response, that it does exactly that.