How did the site do on our five functions

The site failed on all five of the functions we discussed in this chapter:

• Identifying the site, establishing the brand: People could name the department from the top of the page, but they had no sense of "brand." They didn't know what topics or agencies were part of HHS.

• Setting the tone and personality of the site: The news in the center of the home page made people feel that the site was there to disseminate news, not to help them with information - not the tone or personality the site's owners wanted to project.

• Helping people get a sense of what the site is all about: With so little real information on the home page, people could not get a sense of what they would find through the site.

• Letting people start key tasks immediately: Most people come to this site to search or to try to find a good path to specific information. Even starting a search proved impossible for most visitors.

• Sending each person on the right way, effectively and efficiently: In many situations, our usability test participants gave up after trying to find a way off the home page toward what they were looking for.

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