Friday, February 14, 2014

An example of web usability

While this blog is about open source software & usability, I am interested in usability of all kinds, wherever it occurs. So I was very interested to read this announcement about how the U of M's Usability Services helped improve an online donation form. I assume it's okay to repeat the email here:
The University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF) raises and manages private dollars to advance the University’s mission. In an effort to boost online giving, the Foundation engaged IT’s Usability Services to discover ways they might improve their online giving tool to make giving easier for donors. Usability consultants performed a comparative user experience test of the previous donation tools and then two rounds of user experience testing on the newly developed tool in both mobile and desktop formats. These activities helped the team evaluate terminology, navigation, user expectations, and task flow. Based on on what was revealed in the assessments, UMF made significant changes their online giving tool.

After “Give to the Max” day, one of the biggest online giving days of the year, Foundation Systems Analyst Peter Dahl was thrilled with the results, stating, “On one of the biggest online giving days of the year, our redesigned giving tool outperformed the previous one on many measures.”
  • 34% more people gave a gift this year vs. last year
  • Last year 62% of people abandoned immediately when they saw the tool; this year only 33% abandoned immediately
  • Of 1,450 visitors, 23% converted to making a gift (vs. 17% at Amazon)
  • Last year 53 mobile visitors, 0 gifts; this year 200 mobile visitors, 27 gifts
These truly amazing, tangible results demonstrate the positive impact of good design based on understanding user behaviors and needs. The dollars raised via the improved interface will fund scholarships, world-class faculty, leading-edge research, new facilities, and academic programs on all five campuses of the University of Minnesota.

If you’re interested in increasing the effectiveness of your web presence, contact Usability Services.

Usability is a quantitative process, and you can measure the results. Here you can see the information product resulted in fewer people dropping out of the donation site, leading more people to donate. Additionally, the new website is mobile friendly, and 27 people donated through the mobile site (none did so last year).

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