Considerations for Effective Human Interaction... “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” of Wildlife Information Web Sites Rebecca K. WajdaOrganization of Fish and Wildlife Information Managers Workshop Silver Creek, CO August 2000
Agency staff: 9 Other governmental agencies: 13 Scientists and academics: 6 Students and educators: 6 Consulting firms: 4 Other organizations and entities (e.g., community groups, conservation organizations): 3 Targeted public(e.g., hunters): 6 “General public”: 12 Who ARE Our Users?Survey Says….
User Impacts on Web Design“The 10,000-foot level” • Requires clear definition of purpose/goal • Entertain? • Inform? • Instruct? • Persuade? • Requires clear definition of what you can gain • Requires clear definition of intended audienceDesigning a web site without considering the end-users is a quick path to an unused site
Identifying User Needs“The 10,000-foot level” • Understanding user behavior and preference allows you to direct desired user behaviors • Remember what it was like not to know • Create user profiles; look for shared needs, concerns, capabilities
Permitting agency identify impacts of project to wildlife issue: information currency issue: information completeness issue: timeliness of information gathering “General public” local interest in wildlife issue: location, source of information issue: easy to query, easy to understand issue: reducing the overwhelming to manageable User Profiles
Ask Yourself... • What does the user expect to happen? • What does the user want the outcome of using the site to be? • What do you want the outcome of the user’s experience to be?(Excerpted from Claire Rowland. March 10, 2000. Usability Matters. Web Review, Miller Freeman, Inc., http://webreview.com/pub/2000/03/10/feature/index3.html)
And Remember... • Experienced users use the Internet to make things happen faster • Less experienced users are still trying to figure it out; they need to be shown to purpose of the site and why it’s valuable.
Challenge …make the site as easily learned as possible …and avoid the “disease of familiarity”
Usability Matters! Make a good impression!
Core Factors • Minimum standard of technology • Comfort level of users with technology • Users’ existing familiarity with subject matter
Visibility of system status Match between system and real world User control and freedom Consistency and standards Error prevention Recognition rather than recall Flexibility and efficiency Aesthetic and minimalist design Help to recognize and recover from errors Help and documentation General Tips of UsabilityJakob Nielsen (Interview with Dave Andrews, Nov. 1997. “10 Steps to Better Usability.” Byte (www.byte.com/art/9711/sec3/art14.htm))
Designing for Action! • Style • Interface • Navigation • Words • Action • Content • Choice of technologies
Technology….. …just because we can doesn’t mean we should!
Top 10 Mistakes(Jakob Nielsen (1996, 1999), Alertboxes, www.useit.com/alertbox) • Using Frames - Medium Problem • Use of ‘bleeding-edge’ technology - Very Severe Problem • Scrolling text, marquees, and constantly running animations - Very Severe Problem • Complex URLS - Severe Problem • Orphan pages - Medium Problem
Top 10 Mistakes, cont. • Long scrolling pages - SmallerProblem • Lack of navigation support - Severe Problem • Non-standard link colors - Severe Problem • Outdated information - Very Severe Problem • Overly long download times - Very Severe Problem
Nice layout/design, good use of animation, would be nice to have links to species information through the photos
Information about major links somewhat hidden at the bottom of the screen, making it a little difficult to determine what each link is about.
Easy to read, good use of graphics, would have been nice to include information about program on main page.
Good continuity between pages; standard navigation bar helps users keep up with where they are and can go
Good mix of graphics and text; although first paragraph still does not tell user why this is useful or important
Some information on main page (e.g., How WAPITI works) will mean very little to “general public” (Who should use WAPITI) and should probably be moved to a secondary page.
Unless the user is very familiar with some of these features, they will find this search box sequence challenging to use. Perhaps graphic interfaces using maps would be more helpful.
Great page with lots of information, but VERY slow to load. The user will leave the site before the images all display.
Fully displayed. Links easy to understand and follow. Interesting use of graphic buttons to showcase features at bottom of page.
Information provided is thorough and easy to read. Definitions are provided for technical terms. Would have expected to see more species, given extent of partnerships.
Nice use of central graphic; links generally well understood. Did not have an e-mail or contact address until recently.
Little consistency with main page; difficult to read due to color scheme; not exactly clear what to do; no contact information.
Again, little consistency between pages, including navigation; no explanation about what will be seen here. Executed query for bullfrog...
Resulting report from life history query for bullfrog. Reinforces need to test, test, test!
Again, little consistency between pages; no mechanism to seek help; no definition of information being displayed (e.g., status code value). Since the primary user has been defined as KDFWR biologists, this may not be as much of a problem.
Nicely laid out, but how many users (“hunters”) will understand about ‘zoom options’ and other map controls without further information?
This logo is much more appropriate at this scale elsewhere on the site. At this point, a logo to the side, and a photo of the species in question, would have probably worked much better.
Excellent balance of graphics and text; good navigation bar used throughout; great succinct overview about what the site is and services provided!
Links well described (notice glossary); consistent “look and feel” between pages and levels.
Expectation and outcome clearly defined; continued consistency of ‘look and feel’; nice use of appropriate graphics to enhance pages.
Site tells user what can be done, but not why it can be done or is useful to them. Seems a little technical for “landowners” (defined as system users).
Consistent look and feel to main web site, even though maintained on a different server. More information about value, use or utility would be beneficial. May want more graphics for appeal.
Huge, long-scrolling page…who’s going to wade through all of this?
Great use of digital mapping capabilities, but little information about use, value, etc. Process should be better explained on-screen.
Probably system overload for the “general public” user (or anyone not familiar with the suite of available databases.
Interesting display of data on-screen; more information here would be helpful in keeping user up-to-date on actions.
So Where Are All of the Good Wildlife Information Sites? • Start here! • Http://www.sp2000.org (general online wildlife information) • Http://www.americanbirding.org (great bird information) • Http://birdsource.cornell.edu • Others? (see related list of sites developed by OFWIM 2K participants found elsewhere on the OFWIM web site)