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  • Hatch Team

Testing and validation of the web portal design



The first phase of user testing, which involved aesthetic evaluation of static images of the portal’s homepage, took place throughout July. It was a crucial task aimed at validating the visual development of the front end. This task was part of Work Package 7 and was carried out by HATCH consortium member Eurecat.


In order to provide valuable data reflecting the opinions of potential HATCH web portal users (as exemplified by the User Personas created), Eurecat carried out the following:

  • identification of relevant evaluation metrics, derived from the requirements and use case definitions

  • definition of methodologies and the general testing strategy

  • experimental design of the lab tasks and questionnaires

  • realization of the piloting tasks

  • evaluation of perceived aesthetics of the homepage


Two types of evaluation


In broad terms, two different kinds of evaluation of the proposed web portal design were carried out.



Layout and design tests


These tests involved look and feel questions. The goal was to test the aesthetic perception of a given design. The tests were based on self-reported evaluation of aesthetic appeal (with both open and structured questions) and visual tests such as a first-impression test.



Effectiveness and efficiency tests


These tests involved having participants execute different actions identified as relevant in the use case definitions and requirements, registering how well they did and how long it took them to complete each task. They also included self-reporting of satisfaction and evaluation of navigation, information complexity and interactivity.



First tests


The first web portal wireframes made it possible to test and validate the layout and design. Effectiveness and efficiency were also tested, although these factors will become more relevant towards the end of the project, when the actual functionalities are ready. The general strategy involved comparing HATCH to well-established websites that are similar in scope and/or thematic content. User requirements and use cases were applied to extract human factor requirements.



Design tests


Later on, the web portal’s visual design (colours, fonts, headlines, etc.) was tested. The participants represented a broad target audience, including professionals, non-professionals and students, both male and female. The results can be taken as evidence that HATCH’s visual design fully meets the desired aesthetic standards. It is perceived as clear, clean and visually pleasing – key aspects in making the site attractive, especially for non-professional users. Evaluations of design and colouring, as evidenced by the first impression tests, also put Hatch at the level of top-notch websites, especially when compared to those with similar thematic content.



Conclusion


The test results show that the web portal’s visual design meets the expectations of the pre-defined User Personas. The needs and values of the stakeholders were well understood, translated and implemented within the design

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The HATCH project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 776357.

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