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ERIC Number: EJ1079728
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-1541-0935
Technology Review: Website Usability Testing Software-Improving User Experience and Satisfaction with Community College Websites
Dishman, Marcie
Community College Enterprise, v21 n1 p84-87 Spr 2015
The Internet is a critical tool for higher education institutions as they rely upon their web presence for interaction with multiple stakeholders, including current and prospective students, parents, faculty and staff, and the community (Hong & Kiousis, 2007). As colleges count upon their websites to serve as the primary medium for presenting information and communicating with these stakeholders, the design and organization of their websites has become increasingly important to all users (Erickson et al., 2013). Poock and Bishop (2006) suggest that website users consistently prefer sites that are intuitive and easy to use, and that sites with these characteristics are more likely to be effective and exhibit good usability. In recent years, the number of low-cost or free usability testing tools has increased, leading to new opportunities for colleges to evaluate their websites. Usability testing can now be conducted quickly, easily, and efficiently; and because of the variety and availability of tools, colleges can internally analyze and improve their sites. During a website redesign project at Central Carolina Community College in 2014, this two-year institution transitioned from a website that reflected the administrative and organizational structure of the institution to one focused on a user-centered design approach. As part of that process, a website usability testing tool known as Silverback was utilized. This article provides a description of Silverback, and shares the assessment and experience at Central Carolina Community College using Silverback. Regardless of the specific usability software that may be used, Silverback or another option, these tools offer potential for a high-quality and low-cost method for community colleges to improve their virtual face and create a successful website that meets user needs.
Schoolcraft College. Community College Enterprise, 19600 Haggerty Road, Livonia, MI 48152. Fax: 734-462-4679; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina