Using Loop11 to Redevelop the Community Hub at SilverStripe.org

CLIENT: SilverStripe

INDUSTRY: Web Development

WEBSITE: www.silverstripe.org

SilverStripe is an open source Content Management System (CMS) and framework used by governments, businesses and non-profit organizations around the world. It is a platform for professional web development teams to create websites, intranets and web applications. The platform is open source, and the community needed to be easier to navigate for the community on SilverStripe.

THE PROBLEM

SilverStripe.org had grown, and information and code was scattered all over the place. New users had difficulty finding what they were looking for.

THE BRIEF

SilverStripe set up an online test with Loop11 to engage in remote user testing.

THE TEST

SilverStripe used Loop11 to produce hard data on usability to guide modifications to the website.

3 different tests were set up; one for each of their different target groups. The 3 user groups consisted of developers, front-end developer/designers and content editors/marketing people. The test was run for 2 weeks.

1,243 SilverStripers started the test and 23% completed the test.

KEY FINDINGS

Here are some of their observations:

The online content was hard to understand by some of the audience

There was too much information on the introduction and features pages; users thought it was too much information to read for a quick overview
There wasn’t a clear enough hierarchy between headings and body text on the features page
Unique user groups had different needs and understanding of information; labeling has different meanings for different demographics and can lead to unsatisfactory results
Users were sometimes unsure whether pages/content were applicable to them

The site’s navigation and labels were not very intuitive, confused users and did not accurately reflect content

The “Modules” section was confusing to navigate and did not promote better and more recent modules
Finding information about meeting others in the community was very difficult
Multiple sites in silverstripe.org confused users
Developers did not like the label “Help”; “Support” or “Documentation” were the expected labels

The visual design had not been updated for some time and was difficult to use

Some users mentioned it was time for a site redesign to better reflect the direction of the website
The layout and hierarchy of elements could be made easier through better font sizing and color

THE RESULTS

After the data was collected and multi-variant tests were conducted, overlaps and patterns were found and a new SilverStripe.org site structure was created to address the findings.

(You can find SilverStripe’s more detailed blog post here.)

WANT TO CONDUCT EASY, AFFORDABLE AND EFFECTIVE USABILITY TESTING LIKE SILVERSTRIPE DID?

SilverStripe.org is just one success story. Loop11 has plenty of other successful case studies here. Loop11 can help you test and improve your website’s usability without the expensive costs of doing lab-based testing.

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