July marked the second round of the Citizen User Testing Group in Chattanooga.
The CUT group is a chance for Chattanoogans to try out civic websites and get paid for their input and time. It also lets developers see people navigate their websites so they can understand the hiccups and improve the sites.
Five Chattanoogans gave their feedback on two great civic sites: Growing Forward, the regional planning association’s explanation of its long term planning process, and Chattizen, a citizen’s guide to local government in Chattanooga.
Tyler Yount, the Civic Engagement Coordinator for the City of Chattanooga organized and facilitated the tests. The library hosted on the 4th Floor, and allowed the CUT Group to install the software needed on the library computers. It was only Tyler’s second time running a website testing session, but the great responses from the testers show that he’s a natural.
I helped write the test plans and then synthesized the results of the Growing Forward test into an informal report for the project team. With more time I would have enjoyed editing clips for the team. Watching people struggle and triumph with a website is the most direct way for a team to understand the areas that need improvement and what’s working well.
The Growing Forward project team has already dug into the results, and is quickly implementing updates. Beyond that, it’s exciting that everyone involved is cultivating their user research and UX skills. Building a lasting process for involving user testing in Chattanooga City Hall makes my heart sing.