Exploring Usability in Web-Based Aviation Weather: An Assessment of the Aviation Weather Center Website
To provide a starting point for usability research in the area of online aviation weather, we performed a two-part usability study of the popular Aviation Weather Center website for general aviation users. The first part of the study utilized the System Usability Scale to examine different types of weather information as used by a general aviation pilot on a VFR cross-country flight and compare the usability of the information to an existing benchmark. No scores were significantly less than the benchmark, but the ordering of weather information by usability score provided valuable insight into the relationship between usability and pilot weather product preference. The second part of the study involved a concurrent think-aloud task, in which pilots were asked to verbalize their thoughts as they completed a weather briefing on the site. With audio of participants verbalizations and screen captures during this task, we discovered a number of specific usability issues in both the weather information displayed on the site and the site itself. Many had a broad impact, especially for novice users. These issues were used to form suggestions for aviation weather providers and to form recommendations for future research.