Due to its broad audience LOCOG needed to ensure that the official website was as usable as possible:
- Ease of use: We needed to ensure the website was easy to navigate and that users could quickly find what they were looking for. We aimed to provide recommendations for changes that would improve the overall user experience for visitors.
- Language and terminology: bearing in mind that many of the website’s visitors would be from other countries, was the language and terminology clear?
- Expectations: Did users find what they were expecting to find on the site? Were they expecting anything more?
Keywords cloud of Participants' views of the homepage
- We provided findings which led to relabeling an area of the global navigation. There was widespread confusion among participants regarding what they expected to find under the headings, 'Our Games' and 'Spectators'. We recommended reorganising the content found within these sections and renaming 'Our Games' to 'Join In', thereby clarifying where the following type of information could be found: local events & information for ticket holders.
- We found that users from outside of London felt certain sections, notably those giving directions to the Olympic village/general transport information, were too London-centric. We improved this issue by added more information aimed at those travelling into London from other destinations while Londoners received additional advice on travel disruption within the capital which was of importance to them.
- For the Games-time Site we made recommendations which improved the way event results were presented, and optimised the various routes that led to results pages. Our testing revealed that unnecessary effort from the user was required in order to extract key information such as winners and qualifiers. We advised that they include a clear representation of the winner, both through bolder typography and a visual cue (such as a medal). This meant that results could be easily understood at a glance and also made it simpler for non-native English speakers to interpret.
- For the pre-Games site we worked on the torch relay nominations service identifying potential issues. We found that 'Captcha' was a barrier to submitting nominations as they were difficult to interpret. We recommended they improve this by using dictionary words and providing textual labels for Captcha buttons. We also advised that guidance for adding information such as nominee ages and a character counter would make form filling more efficient and effective.
Our recommendation for displaying results with the addition of a visual cue
We tested both the pre-Games and Games-time versions of the site. The pre-Games website gave information about the history of the Games, the various sports involved, sustainability of the project and of course a countdown to the all-important opening ceremony. The Games-time site displayed the schedule for events, up to date news and results, the medal league table and general advice for visitors.
Our recommendation for displaying results made it easy for both English and non-native speakers to interpret
- We recruited a large sample audience group of 87 participants to take part in full user testing spread around our offices in London, Oxford, Reading and Sheffield. Taking into consideration the global audience which London 2012 attracted, a proportion of our participants spoke English as their second language.
- To ensure each iteration of the site was tested (even minor changes), we provided a variety of different methods, from 20 minute mass user testing (using on-street recruitment) to hour-long tests in each of our UK offices.
- We devised and tested scenarios that would be typical for visitors to the site and carried out an expert evaluation which meant that major issues were identified early. We gave the team actionable recommendations that would help address big issues and ensure more focussed future user testing sessions.
- We became a usability supplier who they could approach for advice at all steps throughout their development process.