The tool, "Does Your Website Meet Potential Customers' Needs? How to Conduct Usability Tests to Discover the Answer," by Daphne Jameson, explains how to conduct usability tests to evaluate the extent to which a hotel or restaurant website meets potential customers' needs. The tool is available at no charge from the CHR. Jameson, a professor at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, says usability testing is neither difficult nor expensive to implement. "As I explain in this tool, a hospitality firm can employ students or other people to play the role of customers who are seeking information from the website," said Jameson. "These testers can then report on their experience so that the hotel management can remove barriers to booking and adjust the website to be more functional." The CHR tool provides detailed instructions for usability testing and gives examples from sample usability tests conducted on 30 hotel websites. "In our pilot test, we asked students to imagine that they were meeting planners who were looking for a meeting venue. We found that certain hotels were eliminated from consideration primarily because their website was unattractive and hard to use." Jameson added that usability testing can also be applied for internal purposes, for example, to make sure that human resources information is easily accessible to employees. Get the full story at Cornell Center for Hospitality Research