Website usability testing – Recycling centre improvements

Update: Over the 2012 Christmas period the recycling centre web page were used a lot and we received some very positive feedback including:

  • “Nice to get to something very quickly and precisely ! I’m impressed. Thank you.”
  • “Great Web Page. Clear and informative. Site Personnel always helpful at Shipston on Stour. Thanks”
  • “needed opening times, which were easy to find.”
  • “All good”

We’re happy you found the pages easy to use.

Original: Our recent website usability testing threw up some ideas and areas where we can improve our website. This session focused on the Household Waste Recycling Centre web pages, with members of the public asked to carry out some common tasks:

  1. Find your local centre and opening hours;
  2. Find details about recycling/disposing of  specific materials (paint);
  3. Find details for a vehicle permit.

Improvements from test results

Recycling Centre landing page

1. Removal of the opening times table

This table tried to show all the opening times for all the recycling centres and it contained a lot of information. It became a sticking point for visitors as they would take a lot of time trying to work out the table, instead of continuing through the site to find the required information. By removing this table completely, it took out any confusion and visitors can get much clearer opening times from each Recycling Centre Page.

2. Added heading “Centre opening times and further information”

As we took out the table, the header now makes it obvious that the links to the recycling centres contain the opening times. We also added this header as we found the visitors skimmed over the recycling centre links and didn’t take much notice of them, this header makes the links obvious what they are.

3. Added link to view the recycling centre map

We found that the map was a bit hidden at the bottom of the page and not everyone was finding it, so we added a link at the top to jump down to the map.

Recycling Centre pages (e.g Princes Drive)

1. Re-arranging recyclable materials icons – in progress

Recyclable materials icons have been re-arranged in alphabetical order, making it more obvious what materials the site recycles and easier to find specific materials. The icons are also linked to entries in the A-Z of recycling where visitors can find out more information.

This change was due to visitors not being able to find specific materials very well. Icons were grouped together and visitors often stopped at the first set of icons, without realising there were more lower down the page.

These icons are now also mobile friendly, so they will display and shrink depending on the size of the mobile device used to view the page.

2. Form for selecting material to recycle – Long term development

A drop down list of recyclable items, when the visitor selects an item, they are shown details of how, where and when they can recycle or dispose of the material.

3. Clearer links to the vehicle permits page

We noticed during the tests that there were no clear links to the permits page. These will be added in during the re-organisation of the icons.

vehicle permit page

1. Clearer vehicle type table – in progress

Some of the images in the vehicle permit table are not obvious for what vehicle they apply to, the second row actually has the vehicle details. This table will be made clearer so users can find their vehicle easier.

2. Clean up of the text – in progress

The text will be reviewed and cut down. Also a FAQ will be added to answer the frequent questions. We found visitors skimmed over most of the text and were looking for the relevant information.

Other observations

Navigation bar

We found that no one used the navigation bar or mega menus on the home page or any other page. Most people selected a link from the home page. We think this maybe due to the fact it is a very light green and does not stand out against the darker green of the header and page headings. This will require a bit of investigating and further testing with potential designs to see if we can make the navigation bar more prominent.

Home page design

We had comments that the h0mepage design was very busy, or that they didn’t understand the headings or how it was structured. We will look at clearer re-designs which will require testing and need approval before being implemented.

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