Client: American Student Assistance
Project Characteristics: Usability Studies | Eye Tracking | Design Validation
Industry: Financial Education
American Student Assistance (ASA), is a private nonprofit that helps college students and alumni approach, finance, and repay their higher education. ASA launched saltmoney.org to help users make better decisions about borrowing and paying back the cost of their education. I was the manager in this project with the aim to assess participants’ reactions to the new website, uncover any usability issues, and identify areas for improvement.
- Determine if the website was intuitive for the 18-30 year old target audience.
- Review how content was organized and presented.
- Explore how users interacted with the navigation and content.
- Identify unmet needs within the target audience.
- Determine if participants could find content easily.
- Determine if participants found the content useful and impactful.
- Uncover navigation and site elements that confused participants.
The study found that many elements worked well in the new design; site purpose and objectives were clear, content was topical and relevant to the target audience, and the visual design was appealing. However, participants’ eye movements combined with observational data revealed several key issues. Navigation was confusing, high value content was difficult to find, and menu items/labels were not well understood.
With data and insights from the usability study, ASA’s team prioritized and implemented significant design changes that contributed to increased conversions and reduced bounce rates. Using ASA’s own methodology for Outcomes data and analytics, ASA also observed an increase in knowledge gain, competency within subject areas, and an overall improvement in customer satisfaction as a result of these design changes.