The objective of this usability study was to conduct formative and evaluative research for the The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). After holding a client kickoff meeting to get background information and gauge the needs the needs of the organization, the class worked together to define research questions moving forward. The main research questions are as follows: How do users consume information? How do users interact with TxDOT? How do users perceive TxDOT?
Past research related was utilized to inform the direction of research moving forward. Additional research was conducted to understand the key Pilars of what makes a good digital newsroom.
Subject Matter Experts in various areas were consulted in relation to various areas related to this study. Questions were asked that would help gain insight and make recommendations for TxDOT.
Direct and indirect competitors were defined in order to evaluate their current means of news management. More focus was placed on universities and government agencies because of their need to be more public facing in terms of good and bad news. Attention was given to channels of communication, follower count, and strength of relationship with outside media.
Surveys were created to better understand how users consume information, driving habits, and gauge brand awareness and perception of TxDOT as an organization.
Texas drivers were interviewed to learn more about driving habits as well as interaction with and perception of TxDOT. After a general interview, a usability test was conducted to get a deeper sense of how users interact with the TxDOT website.
Label the page as a blog rather than a newsroom while creating content that emphasizes what TxDOT is responsible for. Focus on taking ownership of what TxDOT does do as opposed to what it does not do as an organization.
Mobile friendly content and accessibility is no longer an option. Utilize social media as it is the most accessed type of content on smartphones. Work towards creating consistency across media platforms.
Push stories out to media in addition to sharing on website. Highlight positive mentions in the media where applicable. Ask industry experts to contribute to content of website to reinforce willingness to collaborate.
Focus on getting pertinent information, upcoming construction projects and updates, out to drivers. Build an editorial calendar to plan stories ahead of time giving more weight to education and informational pieces.