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Usability Test Results. Alahna Sergi. Site Description. Shakespeare Online / The purpose of this website is to provide free and accurate information about William Shakespeare His life His works The context in which he wrote these works .

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Site description
Site Description

  • Shakespeare Online


  • The purpose of this website is to provide free and accurate information about William Shakespeare

    • His life

    • His works

    • The context in which he wrote these works

Included on this site
Included on this site

  • The full text of his plays and sonnets



  • Analysis and study guides of his work


  • Modern translations for select sonnets


  • Various essays, book sections and resources

Target user group
Target User Group

  • The main users of this website would be interested in William Shakespeare and his works

  • Since it provides the full text of his writings, all age groups would benefit

    • High school students

    • College students

      • Since this is site would not necessarily be considered “academic” , it would serve as a great starting point for research

    • Teachers

Target user group goals
Target User Group Goals

  • Learn about William Shakespeare and his work

    • His life

    • Context in which he wrote

  • Read his work for free

  • Get help with school assignments

Target user group and tasks
Target User Group and Tasks

  • I designed my tasks as if I were a high school teacher

  • My goal was to teach my students how to use an online resource to perform simple research

  • The target user group in this situation is high school students

  • The goals were to successfully navigate an online resource to perform these tasks


Task 1: Identify the act, scene, line and speaker of the quote: “Tis but thy name that is my enemy.”

Task 2: Identify the setting of Act 2, Scene 1 of Macbeth

Task 3: When did Shakespeare write The Tempest, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and As You Like It?


  • User 1: 22 year old male

  • User 2: 24 year old male

  • User 3: 16 year old female

    • Since I do not know many high school students I had to substitute in older college students

Task 1 notes1
Task 1 Notes

I was surprised that the first two users did not automatically use the search box to find the quote

When I first performed the task I followed the same path as User 3

Both Users 1 & 2 were slightly aggravated when they performed their first step and realized it would not help them complete task

Task 2 notes1
Task 2 Notes

All three users generally followed the same path to complete the task

They also finished task 2 faster than the other two tasks

It was the same path I followed when I first performed the task

Task 3 notes1
Task 3 Notes

When I performed this task, I followed the same path as User 2.

This part was tricky, since it did not state written, but performed

User 3 finished the fastest, but she did not read the note at the top of the page, and gave dates for first performed, which are the dates generally accepted as when they were written


The actual high school student performed each task faster than the two college students

This is most likely because User 3 is more accustomed to online resources


  • Positive Points

    • There are many positive aspects of Shakespeare online beyond the fact that it provides free access to his works

Results to essays and analysis

  • Issues

    • In regards to the given tasks, there were not many major issues

      • The “Key Dates” section has link for when the plays were written and then gives dates for performance. This confused User 2 and myself.

        • Major

      • The search box was not prominent and it took the users a few seconds to locate it

        • Minor

      • An issue with the site in general involves the homepage. There is so much information on the page and it takes multiple scrolls of the mouse to get to the bottom. I had a hard time looking through all of it without suffering from information overload. This did not affect the users, since they were mainly focused on the side bar.

        • Minor

Recommendations to essays and analysis

Since the dates given here,, are generally accepted as the dates when Shakespeare wrote the play, it might be easier to understand if that is what it said, instead of performed.

Recommendations to essays and analysis

Make the search box more prominent because it is somewhat hard to find

Recommendations to essays and analysis

  • The homepage suffers from “information overload”

    • See next slide

Recommendations to essays and analysis

A website redesign, including more tabs on the side bar, might make the homepage easier to navigate.