uPortal Walkthrough - Student Dining Menu Scenario

Walkthrough Setup

Evaluation Completed by: Gary Thompson
Date: September 18, 2007
Environment/URL: Yale Info

Scope of Walkthrough

uPortal: Public/Guest page, Login, Yale Dining Menu, Logout

User profile(s) and context of use

Persona: Ed McClellan, Undergraduate
Ed is in his freshman year. Ed has used the portal a few times and recognizes that there are a few valuable (though not highly usable) services within the portal. Ed is accessing the portal via a public library computer.

User Expectations & Conventions


Ed wants to know what is on the menu for dinner at the cafeteria.


Guest Page and Login

As I had to use the demo account, I could not properly evaluate the login. See: Notes on the guest page from a previous walkthrough.

Yale Dining Menu

Usability Issues



Suggestions for solution

Component Identified?

Content was easy to find with good titles and labels (Yale Dining Menu, Today's Menu, Dinner)

Match between system and the real world, Recognition rather than recall


Adding a visual image (food) would probably increase findability

Menu, List

Dinner menu is listed out, follows standard list formatting

Aesthetic and minimalist design, Consistency and standards


A visual of the meal/dishes would both add to the recognition of the content and supply additional detail.

Menu, Image List

The menu items are probably links, but I had to mouse over one to know for sure.

Consistency and standards, Error prevention


Use underline for linked text to help users recognize links


When I clicked a link (Roast Leg Of Lamb), I was whisked away from the portal to the Yale University Dining Menu website and presented with Nutritional Analysis & Ingredient Info for Roast Lamb. The YUDS website and interface is very different than the portal. I now have to re-calibrate my bearings.

Visibility of system status, Error prevention


Indicate to the user that they are going to be transfered to another application/site

Menu, Search, External Link Indicator

I will not evaluate the YUDS website, but will note that there was no way to get back to the portal from this interface (it had spawned in a new browser tab, however).

User control and freedom


Provide a means to return to the portal

Host Panel/Frame