One of the best ways to get to know your audience is to talk to them! The best communication materials are created with the people who use them in mind. We recommend testing your documents and websites with members of the intended audience whenever possible.
In conducting focus groups, we seek feedback on:
- readability and understanding
- retention of messages
- choice of photographs/symbols/images
- layout and design.
Our user testing services can be applied to website design projects or other formats like online videos or email marketing, to make sure that your project is a success.
An example of our work in this area
In 2016, the NSW Government Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) embarked on a series of Digital Accessibility Initiatives to support the rollout of new websites and intranets across the department. The Information Access Group was contracted to support this work with the establishment of a Digital Accessibility User Network. For this project, we:
- Worked with our networks to establish membership of the groups.
- Developed materials to reach out to the target audiences – including the use of plain language and Easy Read materials to suit the communication needs of the audience. This included the Terms of Reference for the Network, an application form and a consent form.
- Recruited the members of the Network through established relationships in the disability and community sectors.
- Worked in partnership with FACS to establish and run the initial group meeting, including managing attendance and location etc.
- Conducted phone interviews with the individual members of the Network to establish their communication needs. We transcribed these interviews and wrote up ‘case study’ stories about each participant. These stories were very helpful for a later part of the project, where we wrote a series of personas and user stories.
- Documented and discussed the findings with the Digital Team.
This project resulted in a great resource for FACS – a Network of participants for the Digital Team to draw on for future testing and project development. It also allowed us to create a documented set of requirements and inform the development of the FACS Digital Accessibility Standard.