Research and Innovation Intern
Projects: UX Research and Data Visualization
Date: June-August, 2015
Problem: This research focused on the organization’s website in an attempt to understand major usability issues that impede users from getting much-needed information about the organization and its work.
Process: Interviews and Heuristic Evaluation
Deliverables: Two reports detailing findings and recommendations for improving the organization’s web design.
For this study, I conducted 6 interviews with FLA staff. Five interviews were in person and one by email. Participants hold various roles and positions in the organization and use the website for various tasks, including looking for assessment reports and tracking charts, checking lists of affiliates, and using the “About Us” page to find other staff profiles.
To select potential users for interviews, I created a list of staff members based on the frequency with which they used the website. All interviews were approximately 30-minute long and audio-recorded.
Following interviews, I qualitatively coded all interviews looking for major themes. I analyzed each interview based on several criteria: users, their goals when reaching the page, and pain points defining user experience on the organization’s website. I also paid particular attention to the frequency of users’ navigation to the website to evaluate the severity of problems. A report detailing Findings and Recommendations can be shared upon request.
I used Nielsen’s (1994) usability heuristics to perform an individual evaluation of the webpage, focusing on two main scenarios:
- The user goes to the Fair Labor Association website to find information about the organization. This is the first time for this user on the organizational website.
- The user is a current visitor on the FLA’s web page. Starting from the home page (http://www.fairlabor.org), he/she uses the “Search” box to find all Nestle reports produced by FLA during the last two years.
The above tasks were created following interviews where users talked about their difficulty in finding information on the website. The search for information — either about the organization itself or about organizational documents — is also the most frequent task performed by users who arrive on the page, given the organization’s public role as a multi-stakeholder association advocating for labor justice.
To evaluate the site in accordance with the heuristics criteria above, I performed the evaluation in three passes, with a subset of 3-4 heuristics examined per pass and rated individually. This ensured that all heuristics were carefully considered for each component of the product’s interface. Ratings of heuristics are on a scale of 0 (not a usability problem) to 4 (usability catastrophe). They were determined based on the criteria established by Nielsen as follows: frequency (is the problem common or rare?); persistence (can users overcome the problem once they are aware of it?); impact (is the issue easy or difficult for users to overcome?); and market impact of the issue (is this likely to impact severely the popularity of this product?). On finishing the evaluation, I identified top issues and performed a final pass in order to prioritize those issues of utmost importance for Fair Labor Association. A report with Findings and Recommendations following can be shared upon request.
I used visualization tools to create infographics to present FLA research on code violations, such as child labor, wages, and benefits noncompliance, in the multinational agricultural sector. The infographics created focus on productions of cocoa and hazelnut in Cote d’Ivoire and Turkey respectively and on Syngenta corn farms and were published in the organization’s final annual report. Samples of this work can be seen below. More can be shared upon request.
Role played: Research, Ideation, and Review
I worked with Data Kind in Washington DC to design a geomapping application using CartoDB. Following a process of ideation and several review steps, we mapped worldwide factory assessments conducted by Fair Labor Association. Data can be sorted by year, code element, and country.