Bergen Swamp Preservation Society


We worked to design and conduct a usability test on the Bergen Swamp Preservation Society Website. The Bergen Swamp Preservation Society is an educational institution whose purpose is to conserve the flora and fauna of its Upstate New York properties. The study evaluated the usability and user experience of the website.


6 members


3 months


Pen & Pencil, Morae Observer/Recorder software


Heuristic Evaluation, Usability Analysis, User-research

Design Process


The Usability testing was conducted in the usability lab in Rochester Institute of Technology. Heuristic Evaluation of the website was done by the team members which helped us generate our research questions for the participants in the study. We designed the test plan and conducted the study accordingly.

Heuristic Evaluation

Test Design

The study involved a good mix of participants from different walks of life and age groups with an interest in visiting or volunteering in preservation societies or biological research. The table represents the order in which the tasks were performed by the 5 participants. There is a possibility that the user will be able to learn the website while performing task 2 (in our original task list order) hence we decided to counter balance the learning effect by reordering the task order.

Note: We also conducted a Pilot test with a participant to smooth the test process and make changes in the test plan if needed.

Test Design

Test Environment

The test was conducted in the Usability Lab at RIT. The team included 6 members. 1 member worked as a modertaor while the rest as observers. We used Morae suite for video/screen recording as well as audio recording.

All the particpants signed the consent form and were provided with a 20$ Amazon gift card as a reward for participating in the study.

Test Environment


Each test lasted for an average of 1 hour/participant. This included pre-test arrangements, introduction to the test session, task list and post-test debriefing.

Each particpant were provided with 5 tasks and Scenarios to complete the test.



The study took note of three main quantitative attributes:
• The time each participant takes to complete a task
• The number and type of questions they ask before completing a task
• The number and type of hints the moderators give the participant before successfully finishing the test.

The study also took note of four main qualitative attributes:
• Any positive comments that the users have while they practice the ‘think aloud’ method.
• Any confusions or misunderstandings about the website while finishing each task
• Any constructive feedback on how to improve any elements or functions of the website
• Any overall commentary on whether the website is able to communicate and serve its purpose. .

Note: Please check the report on the project for details.

Data Collected