Redesign of Vimeo

Introduction

This project contains a description followed by an analysis of a conducted usability test. The test was conducted to help pinpoint which elements of the website, Vimeo.com, is causing usability problems between the system and its actual users.

 

Purpose

The overriding purpose of this report is to achieve a good appreciation of design as a whole and in particular concerning web design.

In order to obtain an improved understanding of web design and the importance of the underlying both theoretical and practical principles, a user based analysis of the website Vimeo.com has been conducted.

Semester group project (2016, 1st semester of the bachelor, Interaction Design at Aalborg University)

Team: Andreas Winkel Sigsgaard, Anja Ryom Jensen, Emil Kongsgaard Guldager, Frederik Dalgaard Moroder, Julie Corlin Mikkelsen and Lasse Stausgaard Jensen.

motivation & process

The motivation behind choosing Vimeo as the focal point, originated in a curiosity regarding the user group using this specific video sharing platform. After having usability tested the website on the eight test people, we sat down and evaluated each test. On the basis of these evaluations we categorized the identified problems, giving each problem a severity-rating. Based on the given severity-rating, we chose some of the worst problems as focus points to evaluate in depth. Lastly we evaluated on our results and came up with and sketched design ideas, which backed up by theories, should rectify the identified problems.

 

Theory

Since Usability is an abstract and complex concept, that can’t be described solely from a single dimension, we utilized Jakob Nielsens 5 terms to describe the measured usability. According to him, usability stems from the term Usefulness, that revolves around whether or not the user can achieve its goal with the system. Usefulness can then be split into two categories: Utility and Usability, where Utility describes if the fundamental principles of the system forms a basis for the user to achieve its target, while Usability deals with how easy the user applies these principles when interacting with the system.

Usability is then split into the following 5 terms to help define it and make it more palpable for measurements.  

 

The ratio between the best and the worst users’ performance is typically a factor between 4 and 10
Jakob Nielsen
Computer scientist

As it can be challenging to design a system that is both easy and intuitive for a novice user, while being advanced and efficient to an expert user, we further implemented theory about novice users versus expert users to help understand the users.

After an improved understanding of the users, we went ahead and performed a heuristic evaluation of Vimeo to get an initial list of potential usability problems related to the website. The majority of the problems derived from the heuristic evaluation were cosmetic problems.

To expand on the list of usability problems and potentially confirm og disconfirm some of these problems we conducted a user-based think-aloud usability test with 8 representative users. This way we got insight into the actual use of the system from actual users. The outcome of the gathered data analysis from the tests, were a ranked list of usability problems which were categorised and ranked in severity according to relevant theory. 

Based on the formulated list of usability problems, we researched relevant theory of web design to implement to help abate these problems. White space, Less is more and Krug’s laws of web usability were among the applied theory. 

Results

The outcome of the usability test and the following analysis was a serie of suggestions for redesign of some of the tested features. We experienced several of the users had problems locating key features, such as uploading a video to a group. In some extreme cases they ended up addressing the facilitator asking for help, as they did not know what to do. Some users misinterpreted or confused several words or icons, which negatively affected their experience. A third general problem throughout the tests were the users being unable to figure out where to delete their profile, videos or comments.

These problems is just a selection of the total discovered problems. The solutions for the above-mentioned problems is presented below.    

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