The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Australia (The Duke of Ed) empowers young people to explore their potential and provides a framework of participation that engages young people. The Online Record Book (ORB), launched in early 2010, is an online database for The Duke of Ed participants to be able to track the progress of their award and record approvals by their assessors. It also provides program co-ordinators with greater visibility of what their participants are doing and acts an electronic point of contact. It was developed to replace the a paper-based recording system.
The Duke of Ed was finding that many of the ORB users were contacting their support services because they were having difficulty working out ‘what to do next’. The system’s implementation had been more focused on the technical requirements than the usability of the design. It was crucial for the success of the system that the ORB became more user-friendly and intuitive for users. . The Duke of Ed engaged Objective Digital to evaluate the system and report on possible fixes.
We ran 8 representative users from the three key user groups (4 participants, 2 co-ordinators and 2 assessors) through a user study using the latest Tobii eye tracking technology and a retrospective think-aloud (RTA) methodology which has been shown to improve the quality and accuracy of usability investigations. We were able to uncover the root causes in the design which were causing problems such as people not being able to find important functions (things like adding activities, adding reports and responding to requests).
We held a workshop with the client’s technical team so that our report provided recommendations based on an understanding of the technical difficulty of making the changes and the potential benefits based on our user experience design expertise. This will help the implementation of our recommendations more effective and efficient. Following on from the usability assessment, Objective Digital provided the Duke of Ed with 25 wireframes demonstrating a new user experience design. This was taken to the Board of Directors who could then understand the potential of the design in improving the usability of the system and its acceptance among the users. It was received very positively and now Objective Digital is providing more wireframes and helping the Duke of Ed to engage with web developers.
Objective Digital’s capability for user testing and user experience design has helped the Duke of Ed to invest in a vision for a feature-rich and easy to use web capability knowing that it will help the organisation continue its successes for the young people of Australia.
“We’ve really enjoyed working with Objective – we’ve been impressed with both their professionalism and capability since our first meeting with them.”
Kelly Wood, Online Record Book Coordinator
“I presented the usability study to our board and everyone was very impressed.”
Rachel Sainsbury, National Projects and Communications Director