In this study, the development of an e-learning portal for university students is presented. The portal is based on responsive web design which is accessible from anywhere, at any time and on any device. A complementary user experience evaluation methodology consisting of heuristic evaluation, usability testing, user experience questionnaire and eye tracking has been applied to get a holistic understanding and identification of the potential usability problems in the portal.

The methodology highlights the relative efficacy of each method. The results suggest that the heuristic evaluation identified more usability problems than the usability testing. However, few severe usability problems were identified in the usability testing and most of them were not spotted in the heuristic evaluation. For additional insights, the participants’ objective visual responses were tracked using an eye tracker (Tobii X-30 Hz); the eye tracking data were also helpful in revealing the usability issues within the portal. The aggregated heat maps were helpful in identifying the complexity of the interface elements of the portal. The identified problems were fixed in the final version of the portal. Afterward, another usability test was carried out to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the portal.

The students’ perceptions regarding both versions were also analyzed through the questionnaire. According to the results, the e-learning portal seems to be efficient and effective and the students were satisfied. The proposed methodology resulted in increasing the satisfaction of the students which can lead to the maximum utilization of the e-learning portal. It is recommended that by integrating these evaluation methods, many usability problems can be identified which can then be fixed for achieving maximum user acceptance of the e-learning portals and the similar web portals.

The study was conducted in a biometric laboratory at IBA Karachi. Tobii X-30 Hz was used to track gazes of the participants during their usability tasks. The data was collected through the iMotions biometric platform; the platform collects real time data that include dynamic gaze maps (individual response), gaze fixations and heat maps (aggregated response).

Learn more: How to do Website UX and Usability Testing: Guide to Advanced Methods

Keywords E-learning portal · Heuristic evaluation · Usability testing · User experience · User experience questionnaire Eye tracking