Project Directive

Identify opportunities to improve a US government financial website by:

  • Collecting objective and subjective UX data
  • Evaluating navigation patterns and the usage of the most salient UI controls

My Role

Moderate usability testing sessions
Tech lead for Tobii eye tracking hardware and software
Analyzed data
Synthesized findings into a summative report


  • Data collection via in-person moderated usability tests
  • Participants recruited through local advertisements and screened with a financial literacy survery.
  • 60 minute sessions during
  • Think aloud protocols


These tasks gave users the opportunity to interact with a variety of functions within the application without focusing on one area for too long.

Imagine you are looking for financial advice on how to buy a home. Locate the section of the site that would help educate you.

You have heard about a lot of credit card scams in the news. Locate the section of the site that would help you learn about common scams and how to avoid them.

A friend of yours has been receiving calls from a debt collector. Please find a piece of information that would help them deal with a debt collector that is being aggressive.

Please submit a complaint about a bank that you believe is violating its terms of service with you as a customer.

Search through the site until you believe you’ve located the most important information about how to resolve issues with your credit report.

What advice does this app have about the use of money transfer apps like PayPal and Venmo?

Satisfaction Questionnaire

Users responded to Likert scale questions to share their perceived difficulty ratings, overall satisfaction, and confidence during their interactions. The Nielsen Norman Group’s guide to measuring perceived usability was a great survey design resource.

I thought there was too much inconsistency in this system.

I had to work hard to complete each of my tasks.

Overall, the app was easy to use.

I was able to successfully accomplish what I was asked to do.


Results indicated the site had room for improvement in terms of its perceived usability. Survey results, combined with eye tracking suggested long, desnse blocks of content were a pain point for users.

Eye Tracking Data

Reading Pattern

  • Attention dissapates as users progress down the page.
  • Users focus on paragraph content, rather than UI elements like tags, social links, and call outs.

Gaze Plots

  • On search pages, tags and filters receive a great deal of attention.
  • Users pay little attention to search results further down the page.

Salient UI Elements

  • The preferred method to navigatet to specific content is with tags, not FAQs.
  • “Other Categories” should be broken into additional sections for clearer IA.

Scanning Search Results

  • The few few search results receive the bulk of attention.
  • Users pay partial attention to left-margin filters. They conduct a new search rather than interact with the filters.