According to the United States Department of Health & Human Service’s usability hub, they describe the core of UX as:
“…ensuring that users find value in what you are providing to them.”
Value can only be achieved if all six factors of user experience surrounding it are realized.
The six factors of UX:
Whether it’s a physical or digital encounter, the experience of your end user must be observed from their perspective.
I’m going to discuss a few ways that the Candian Immigration and Citizenship homepage can increase the usability of their services following the six UX Factors previously mentioned.
The Case Study
When I googled “Canada immigration”, the first non-ad link presented to me brought me to the Immigration and citizenship webpage within the Government of Canada’s website (as seen below).
What is the user experience of this web page based on the 6 Factors of UX?
Your content should be original and fulfill a need
The usefulness will depend on who’s accessing the site because there are a lot of reasons people would be arriving.
The first thing that stands out is the image on the right and the link below discussing the Atlantic Immigration Pilot. My eyes then take me to the Most Requested section on the right. Before scrolling, I also notice the Social Medias they list, before seeing that they list the Services and Information, followed by Features after two mouse scrolls.
- The most requested section will be useful for most users, as long as the links lead to the section the user is expecting.
- The language used is fairly simple and descriptive.
- Why is the Atlantic Immigration button the largest? That’s not likely useful to most people and yet was where my eyes spent the most time.
- The title Features is unclear. Would the use of a more descriptive word make this section more useful to users?
Image, identity, brand, and other design elements are used to evoke emotion and appreciation
The page has a lot of white space. The main image looks like a typical stock image. The look is clean, but not in a modern way. It feels sterile and government-y.
- The branding is consistent with the rest of the Government of Canadas website.
- The design is clean and doesn’t include distracting features.
- Not very inspiring as the first impression of Canada.
- Images aren’t consistent with the others used at the bottom of the page.
Site must be easy to use
The large buttons on the top indicating that I am on the Immigration section of the Government of Canada’s website are easy to read and selection is indicated by the darker section. The titles of each Service and Information is underlined to indicate that it is clickable. All the links work. The social media accounts at the top are all active.
- A clear indication of where within the federal government’s website we are.
- Most requested allows for the most common answers to be answered right away.
- Able to translate the page to French (the second official language of Canada).
- Took me some time to read right to the bottom before I was able to understand where I needed to click.
- Weak indications of where I’m able to click and where it’s going to take me.
- No ability to translate the page if I don’t speak English or French.
Content needs to be accessible to people with disabilities
Applying a colour-blind simulator to the homepage reveals that the colour choices make it accessible to those with difficulty seeing colours.
- Buttons have enough of a texture and colour difference to indicate they are clickable to those with vision impairment.
- There are no overwhelming graphics to distract.
- The Government of Canada’s Standards of Web Accessibility is fairly rigorous and applies to all government-run websites.
- A Report Problem button at the bottom of the page if something is not working or incomplete.
- There is a lot of writing which can be overwhelming for some users. They might consider icons to signify certain topics, or give more space between content.
Content needs to be navigable and locatable onsite and offsite
The navigation bar makes it clear that we’re on the Immigration and Citizenship section of the website. Hovering over the navigation shows you the sub-levels of that topic.
- Once you select a link and move off the front page, a breadcrumb navigation appears showing how you got to where you are.
- Able to navigate back to where you were before easily.
- There isn’t any motion or indicators of progression. Unless I’ve seen a breadcrumb navigation, I may not know where I am.
Users must trust and believe what you tell them
Accessed from the secure domain canada.ca. Government’s logo appears at both the top and bottom of the page.
- Information is complete and links to web pages that are consistent with the home page.
- Terms and conditions are present at the bottom menu.
- Very little to prove that this is the official Government of Canada website other than the logos.
- No phone number to be able to call to confirm the information is true.