This document is a summary report on consultations held with visitors to the Statistics Canada website as part of the ongoing program of website improvement. These consultations focused specifically on a planned redesign of the website's Home Page with a view to enhancing its client-centricity and user-friendliness thereby enabling visitors to this particular page to complete their tasks as effectively as possible.
In March and April 2009, five focus groups were conducted with approximately 50 frequent and infrequent visitors to the Statistics Canada website. During the sessions, user needs, tasks and preferences were discussed. Based on the feedback received, three Home Page prototypes were developed.
In August 2009, as a second phase, seven one-on-one usability interviews were conducted, five with external frequent and infrequent visitors and two with new Statistics Canada employees.
During the usability tests, participants were asked to conduct a variety of tasks using prototype A as their starting point. For each task, participants' points of entry, paths taken, task completion and barriers were noted. Participants were also asked to review and discuss their likes and dislikes of the existing Home Page in comparison with the three prototypes.
Prototype A was the preferred version (over the existing Home Page as well as prototypes B and C) by 6 of 7 participants. They found it less cluttered, there was a decrease in repeated features, information was above the fold and, generally, the page design was considered to be more user-friendly.
The task completion exercises using prototype A yielded positive results.
Replace the existing Home Page with prototype A, modified with some of the features from prototypes B and C.
The newly redesigned Home Page was successfully launched on the Statistics Canada website on December 2, 2009.
Statistics Canada thanks participants for their participation in this consultation. Their insights guide the Agency's web development and ensure that the final products meet users' expectations.