A newsletter on audience research and development for cultural leaders. One reader calls it, "sometimes funny"

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A few list members wrote in with questions about Live Website Evaluations; Here are a few that readers gave me permission to share with you:

First, Jim Thornton said:

awesome! why free? or why not freemium?

I decided to offer Live Evaluations for free through the end of this month just to see what feedback I got without a price attached. I’ll likely introduce some different tiers in the future.

For example, some feedback from people who have had an evaluation suggests that I might offer additional testing. After the initial round of testing and evaluation, clients could then make changes and then we could do more testing to see how those changes impact people’s ability to complete core tasks on their website.

Aimee Mussman wrote:

Now that we are using Doublekot, our control over exactly how our website functions is limited once a user clicks through our links to Doubleknot. Would an evaluation still be useful, or just frustrating because there are issues outside our control? Thanks!

Aimee is not the only one who has raised this concern.

Every museum uses software to handle their transactions — Doubleknot, NeonCRM, a Blackbaud product … All these software products generate user-facing forms and checkout sequences that museum staff may not be able to change much.

There are two parts to a Live Evaluation — First, I run a set of user tests to see where first-time visitors are having trouble finding information, understanding the museum's offerings, or completing core tasks. Sometimes users run into problems with third-party software along the way, but that’s not all they’re testing.

The second part is a heuristic evaluation — we get on a half-hour video call and walk through what changes you can make that will lead to better user experience and help people support your organization more easily. We also discuss the user testing results, and I answer questions.

Before the call, I review your website and make notes on what we’ll discuss. Here’s a peek at the things I look at when preparing for the call:

Live Eval Checklist

Much of what you see above are just reminders to myself that stir up other questions. The list uncovers way more than can be discussed in a half-hour call, and the point of an evaluation isn't to overwhelm people with a thousand things to do, so I narrow the discussion to the recommendations I think should benefit the organization most.

I could make the checklist into a more detailed and usable document so that people who aren’t ready to purchase a Live Evaluation might try to review their website on their own. Would that be helpful to you?

If you work at a museum or cultural organization, you can request a free Live Evaluation through the rest of this week. If you have any questions, just reply to this email.

Thanks for reading,


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