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Help us help you (with your Wellcome web needs)

26 Jul, 2012

click clickIt’s an exciting time in the user experience department at the Wellcome Trust: we are getting to know the people who use our websites!

The user experience team represents the voices of you lovely folk out there who visit our various websites – from our main Wellcome Trust website to Wellcome Collection, Wellcome Library, our Human Genome site, this blog and others. We think it’s important to understand what people do on our websites, what they wish they could do, what they’d like to see more, or less, of and how they behave online generally. This helps us make good decisions about what to put on our websites.

We use a lot of different methods to do this, but nothing beats talking to real people. That’s why we’re so excited about the two projects we have finally managed to get up and running.

The Wellcome User Panel

We’re inviting anyone interested to give us feedback in a very quick and simple way. As part of this panel, we’ll send out an email to you roughly once a month with a link to an online task. This could be anything, from looking at how an article is presented on a webpage to a short questionnaire about how you like to use your mobile phone. You don’t have to reply or carry out the task, but if you do, the feedback will go straight back to the team developing the work, helping them to improve it.

Everyone is welcome to join the user panel, if you’d like to then please sign up here.

We hope to have our first test out to panel members before the end of September.

Personas

Personas (a set of archetypal website users) are a tool we can use to ensure that we always have the users of our websites in mind when we’re designing anything that’s going to go online. This could be text, to images, website navigation , media players, anything.

To create accurate personas based on real user behaviour we need to do a lot of research to understand exactly who is using our sites, how, why, and whether they are getting what they want. And in true research fashion, this means getting out and visiting people in situ.

We’re hoping to come and talk in detail to a selection of people who use the Wellcome Trust, Wellcome Collection and Wellcome Library sites. We’re looking for people who use these sites regularly and are happy to have a member of the user experience team come and visit them, either at their home or place of work, and spend an hour observing how they use the website and talking about it.

If you are interested in taking part please complete this short survey and we will get in touch.

Nancy Willacy, User Experience Specialist, Wellcome Trust

Image credit: Flickr/ Extra®Ordinary
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