Date of this Version



usability, design, writing centers, OWL, rhetoric, professional writing


This report is submitted June 16, 2006 to the Purdue University Writing Lab, specifically to Linda Bergmann, Director; Tammy Conard-Salvo, Associate Director; and Karl Stolley, Lead Web Designer. Intended to inform the ongoing redesign of the Online Writing Lab (OWL), it is written to maintain the highest level of usability and user-centered design of a unique, globally-utilized information resource. This document is a preliminary report limited to initial findings from a five-step usability testing protocol conducted February 25 through March 3, 2006. This testing plan was submitted to Purdue’s Institutional Review Board’s Committee on the Use of Human Subjects (IRB) and exempted from further review (#0502000117).