International UX Insights: Usability Testing of International Office Websites at US Universities

Higher education in the US has witnessed an “internationalization” of curricula, faculty, and students since the early-2000s (ACE, n.d.), and as of Fall 2020, the Institute of International Education calculated there were over a million international students in the US (Duffin, 2020). For many foreign students, the international office website is their first source of information about a university and life in the US. How usable are international office websites in institutions of higher education in the US? This presentation analyzes the international office websites of five midwestern US universities using Jakob Nielsen’s Ten Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design. It also presents the results of a usability test, conducted as a graduate class project, with international students from diverse cultural, linguistic and technical backgrounds. Lastly, it makes recommendations on improving the usability and inclusivity of websites in terms of design and content strategy, specifically recognition, search functions, icons, and simplified English and description.
May 16 @ 13:30

Jiaxin Zhang, Meghalee Das