Testing Admissions

As previously mentioned in User Testing Round One – What you’re telling us, the goal of the recent navigation surveys is to ultimately restructure the navigation for the website. Our main issue going into this particular survey was deciding what information was necessary to include. As the current structure covers a broader scope of information not necessarily related to admissions (e.g. aspects of student life), we carried some of that information over to the new structure, tested it, and found that most of it as suspected is not information that needs to be included within admissions.

Based on your feedback, we are disregarding the following tasks as the information will not be included in new navigation.:

  • 11: Where could you find information on transportation options?
  • 8: Where could you find which residence halls are co-ed?
  • 14: Where could you find information about on-campus dining options?
  • 15: Where could you find a list of clubs?

As for the breakdown of the data obtained, 12 of 15 tasks were successful for the new navigation. Successful in this context is defined as having a higher score than the current navigation and being higher than a 6. Each task is scored as a number between 1 (worst) and 10 (best) and is based on overall success, directness, and time taken. The scores received in this round of testing show significant improvement from our current navigation to the new navigation.

The greatest improvements can be seen in these tasks, and their scores:

  • 1: Where could you find the deadline for filing FAFSA? (3-9)
  • 3: Where could you find scholarship information? (3-9)
  • 4: Where could you find information on transferring credits? (1-10)
  • 10: Where could you find our FAFSA number? (1-7)

Take, for example, task 1 regarding UMW’s FAFSA deadline. The image below depicts participant responses within the current navigation.

current (score: 3)

Admissions task 1 - old nav

As you can see, participants were scattered in their responses. The most common path taken was

Admissions Admissions Resources Financial Aid

with 7 out of 12 participants. From there, the most common choice was Deadlines with 4 of those 7 participants.

For the same task within the new navigation, 12 out of 13 believed UMW’s FAFSA number would be located under

Admissions  Tuition and Financial Aid FAFSA

Only one participant believed it would be located under

Admissions  Undergraduate Admissions Apply Freshman Admissions Checklist

new (score: 9)

Admissions task 1 - new nav

The only problem task, defined as having a score of 1, 2 or 3, is #16: Where could you find out when our admissions counselors will be at your high school? The question scored a 2, where participants were equally divided as to whether it would be under

Admissions Undergraduate Apply Advice for High School Students  or

Admissions Visit Events for Counselors

This indicates that wherever we decide to house admissions counselor information we should also link to it from the other location.

Our next survey to launch will be focused on Student Life.


The new admissions navigation structure was successful and effective. Additionally, based on your comments, we have decided to remove extraneous, non-essential admissions information from that section’s navigation. Thank you again for your participation!

More information can be found in the Web Advisory Council presentation slides.

Questions? Email webmaster@umw.edu.

About Katherine Stosch

Katherine Stosch is a Spanish major with minors in applied mathematics and computer science. She has been working for the Office of Digital Communications since Spring 2014 and will be graduating Spring 2015.