Fontaine Archive

Web Design, Usability

The Fontaine Archive Website is an online archive providing both reproductions of the works of Paul Fontaine (1913-1996) who is an American Painter and the letters, diaries and photography of Virginia Fontaine who documented post WWII artists in Germany and art circles. This website is a resource for historians, art historians, and art collectors. A master’s thesis, a PhD thesis, a novel, and a biography of Fontaine have all been written using the material from the online achieve.

The usability upgrade project is intended to evaluate the potential of errors and difficulties involved in using the website (with a prototyping home page) for web browsing activities. The test is conducted with a group of potential users either in a usability lab or remotely. Users are asked to complete a series of routine tasks. Sessions are recorded and analyzed to identify potential areas for improvement to the website. 

Participants Analysis

Problems of the Original Homepage


Executive Summary

Fourteen participants were tested in 15 days from Nov. 9 to Nov. 23. Before the test, a revised home page was prototyped to replace Fontaine Archive’s former one. Two pilot tests were conducted first followed by two turns of tests. After the first turn, the test administrator fixed the prototype according to six participants’ feedback. During the second turn of tests, the home page was fine-tuned for several times.

Twelve of the 14 participants took a face-to-face test while the other two chose to take a remote test. The most of face-to-face tests were conducted in the Information Experience Lab at the School of information. The remote tests were conducted via WebEx. Each individual session lasted approximately 45 minutes.