Strategies Used: Heuristic Analysis, Usability Testing, Wireframing, Prototyping
Mango Connects is an online tool specifically for helping young or new professionals create and cultivate more meaningful professional relationships. The tool contains resources including message drafting, interview preparation as well as guides users through informal meetings with new professional connections. We focused on evaluating and updating the usability of the site’s tools to work as they were intended and how users think they should operate.
My main roles on this team involved
- Creating interview scripts,
- Leading the in-lab usability tests
- Synthesizing the research findings post-testing.
To understand the general site capabilities and site design we began this by conducting a heuristic analysis via Jakob Nielsen's Usability Heuristics Methods for User Interface Design. This evaluation helped us focus on standard issues to look at throughout the project's duration. We continued our research through usability testing, which helped backup those initial findings.
To conclude we created interactive prototypes to outline small changes that could improve user's understanding and navigation of the site. It was important to create prototypes that expressed these changes visually, as most of the issues were related to site hierarchy and overall sitemap.
We created interactive prototypes and site annotations to guide the Mango Connects team through ideal improvements.
We conducted a heuristic analysis to determine the site’s baseline functioning. We did this before doing user testing to assess the site’s initial pain-points and determine our top-testing priorities.
The team conducted usability testing of the website to understand users’ first impressions of the tool and the overall value they found in such a product.
- “Concept behind the site is great. Instead of needing to google, how to write an email to a potential mentor, there’s a full step by step tool!” - Test User
- “It’s odd I had to add people because it’s not integrated with LinkedIn”- Test User
The main issues individuals had when using the site were due to the hierarchy of information, misinformation about the site’s connection with LinkedIn, as well as the confusion of categories and labels of different site features
Then we took those wireframes further to create low-fidelity, digital prototypes. In these renderings, we were able to clarify another major issue, labeling features. Some changes were described below:
- The homepage features a larger and more central tool to “Add Connections” or Search current connections.
- The second page is the My People page with an additional button to “Add Connections” on the same page as you can view the connections you already have.
- Along with focusing on page layout, we focused on the specific features related to “Adding Connections” to your network because that was the most important feature of making this tool valuable.
This project helped to signify the effect of advertised information. This site’s features were largely misunderstood by users because of the mental models that were created upon the mentioning of the site’s connection to LinkedIn and a messaging tool. User’s perceptions of the tool and the functions brought the initial interest, but due to details specific to human cognition, the site wasn't to meet the standards it set for itself.