In this video I talk about the same topic as myTagging and Folksonomy article in the ASIST Bulletin. What are the different kinds of uses for social tagging and folksonomies and what are users’ motivations for tagging?
Note: this report shows the results of a usability test of the Information Architecture and Knowledge Management program web site at Kent State University in 2003. The site has since been redesigned.
In usability study of the IAKM web site I found a number of serious problems. Current IAKM students were asked to complete a series of tasks using the site. Although participants were able to complete the tasks 91.67 percent of the time, they met all performance goals for each task only 36.11 percent of the time. The site is not fundamentally broken, but clearly there is room for improvement. Through statistical analysis, observations of the students, and remarks made by the students a number of issues were uncovered.
Many of the problems were global problems with site navigation and labeling, but there were also a number of prominent local problems. The severity of problems were rated via three categories:
- Severeâ€”prevents the user from completing a task or results in catastrophic loss of data or time.
- Moderateâ€”significantly hinders task completion but users can find a work-around.
- Minorâ€”irritating to the user but does not significantly hinder task completion. (Artim, 1).
Problems are also rated by scope. Any problem can be either global, meaning it applies to most pages or the site as a whole, or local, meaning it is particular to a page or specific section. Global problems are generally more pressing than local ones.
Findings are presented first in order of importance, followed by a description of the study methods.
Note: this usability review as done as part of my graduate coursework at Kent State University.
Usability Review of My.Go2Net.com
There is bound to be argument over what the primary, or first rule of usability is. But before any other rules or guidelines, a site must first satisfy the “zeroith” rule of usability: users must be able to get to the site. Go2Net fails this test because my.go2net.com is completely unavailable (Go2Net, 1). This is a problem first because competing sites already follow the my.[sitename].com URL convention (Welcome, 1). Worse, at one point my.go2net.com was a valid domain and had some amount of user recognition (Nasser, 1). This is especially bad for prospective portal sites, where the intention is that users will use the site as a launching point for the rest of the web. Anyone that had set their homepage to my.go2net.com has had to either update their homepage setting in their browser or pick a different site altogether. Portals need to seem stable and established–making major changes to a site’s navigation might counter that impression, but changing domain names around is even worse. Also, many users will only find Go2Net through links on other sites and pages. Although a Google search of sites linking to my.go2net.com comes up empty today (link:my.go2net.com, 1), Go2Net may have lost out on traffic from older links that have since been removed.
Additional usability rules are easy to find, but there is no authoritative list. This paper will consider four guidelines from the textbook (Dumas, 56) and five from a popular usability site (Nielsen, 1).