The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the agency in the United States that regulates nuclear energy. The Commission communicates with the public, both domestic and worldwide, through its public website, a robust tool containing more than 10,000 pages. The NRC contracted with EurekaFacts to perform a series of research services designed to evaluate and test the content, usability, and accessibility of the agency’s existing public website.
To accomplish this effort, we completed an expert evaluation and developed protocols for usability testing for multiple audience groups. We recruited participants from a broad base of backgrounds and conducted usability testing with the general public, scientists, educators, elected government officials, international regulatory professionals, journalists, and other media professionals.
EurekaFacts conducted both remote and on-site testing from our usability lab in Rockville, MD. We tested the information architecture, usability, and accessibility of the NRC website, evaluated website compliance with usability and human-computer interaction (HCI) standards, and provided user-centered design criteria and recommendations. Also, in addition to navigation and other purely usability-related issues, attitudes regarding online information access were explored and noted.
User-centered design specifications were provided, including information architecture, labeling, navigation, and content guidelines aimed at the general public and each of the fifteen core target audience groups. A new website was built based on the specifications and user-centered-design parameters provided by EurekaFacts. Post-development testing was conducted to offer added quality assurance to the agency. The new site received strong commendations from internal and external audiences.
Methods: Remote usability testing, On-site usability testing, Protocol development, Participant recruitment
Audiences: General public, Scientists, Educators, Government officials, Journalists, International regulatory professionals
Content Domains: Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Usability testing, Website accessibility, Human-computer interaction