Think Aloud Critical Incidents- Participant #3

Task #1

-User articulates goal but attempts to use the main UMBC directory link to accomplish task, ultimately fails because directory search returns no results

“Ok, so I’m assuming it’s in the directory? Just gonna type int he name… no results found. Don’t know what to do now…”

“Ok… back to the Home page. Gonna try the search… nothing…”

“I now see the “Home, Apply, Contact” buttons… this is just general information… is this right?” (user doesn’t realize that s/he has found the right information)

“Gonna try the directory again using just the last name. Didn’t work… giving up!”

Task #2

-User articulates goal but attempts to use the main UMBC directory link to accomplish task, eventually succeeds by going back to the Erickson School site and using the search field- never tries to use the navigation menus/ buttons

“I’m already angry about the directory search not working. Should I keep using this??”

Task #3

+User is able to quickly and easily find the list of courses

“Let’s click on Undergraduate… seems pretty intuitive.”

-User comments that it’s difficult to tell that the menu buttons are actually menus/ buttons

“It’s kind of hard to tell if these are buttons right away… at first it just looks like text…” (while looking at the main menu)

-User expresses anger about the “In the News, Resources, Latest Tweets” section showing up on every page

“News, Resources, and Tweets keeps following me!! Is anyone gonna care about this (while looking at this page)?”

Task #4

+User is able to quickly and easily find a current news article because s/he noticed the “In the News” section earlier

“This is the first time we get to use this thing!”

-User express dismay that even though the task was easy, the content is not in an ideal location

“That was pretty easy… but it’s buried at the bottom.”

Task #5

+User uses the big logo button to restart at the Home page

+User is able to fairly easily find the events

“Just gonna look for “Events,” but there is really nothing… assuming it has something to do with “Professional & Executive.” Oh, that was painless.”

-User expresses dismay about events being located under P&E

“Why don’t they have their own categories?”

Task #6

-User articulates goal and is able to eventually achieve it, but first checks under “Careers” and guesses to find the list of internship sites under “Undergraduate”

“Gonna try “Undergrad,” but I’m just guessing… angry that I had to guess to find it.”

-Users expresses dismay about the readability of the list

“I hate it when sites list individual logos… looks like ass.”


“Overall look and feel of the site is slightly antiquated.”

“Is the yellow box a footer or what?” (talking about the content near the bottom of the site)

“Lots of info. people wouldn’t read.”

“UMBC bar is confusing, misleading.”

“Why is there no content on the YouTube page?”


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