Cirrus Key Release April 2022: Making digital assessment easier and more intuitive

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Usability and accessibility have always been at the heart of the Cirrus product principles. With the latest release we’ve made huge strides towards making Cirrus even more accessible to a broad audience. “A minute to learn – a lifetime to master” is Cirrus’ credo, meaning that less tech-savvy users can easily create high quality digital tests and exams, while advanced users will find new and innovative ways to create and deliver exams years after they started using Cirrus.

A group of professionals is learning together using educational assessment software

An easy, intuitive experience for non-tech-savvy users

As Cirrus CEO and co-founder Vegard Sivertsen remembers: “When we started developing Cirrus in 2013, we knew that digital exams were the way of the future. However, the process of creating, delivering and marking exams online needed to be easier and more intuitive. That’s why we built Cirrus, an educational assessment software, which offers the advanced options and hierarchical control required by the most demanding exam creators, but still provides an easy, intuitive experience for non-tech-savvy users.”

If a system is easy, that means a shorter time spent training end users and more efficient use. As a result, users spend their time creating great assessments instead of wasting energy trying to figure out how the system works. We use a variety of methods to ensure that the Cirrus interface is as user-friendly as possible:

  • We analyse user data to find out what works and what doesn’t.
  • We run repeated usability tests with end users
  • We take inspiration from expert advice on usability and accessibility for the disabled, such as the usability guidelines from internationally celebrated experts such as Bruce Tognazzini, Jakob Nielsen, Steve Krug, etc.
  • We design in accordance with international accessibility standards (e.g. W3C’s WCAG 2.0, as well as the guidelines set in Section 508).

April Key Release

For this month’s Key Release, we took a step back. We looked at the platform through the eyes of someone who is not quite so tech-savvy and familiar with digital exam software. We asked ourselves, is it clear to this person at every point what the next step should be? And if not, how can we make that clearer?

Example assessment overview in Cirrus platform

As a result, we implemented extensive changes to make creating, delivering and marking exams in the Cirrus platform more intuitive for novice and expert users alike. Some of the change include:

  • Users always receive clear feedback on their actions.
  • “Paths” and graphical marking in menus help the user keep track of where they are in the application and where they have to go next.
  • Users always have simple and immediate access to the most common tasks.
  • The page layout is clear, and prioritised elements are highlighted.
  • Familiar symbols and interaction methods allow users to use knowledge from other programmes and conventions when using our e-assessment platform.

The result? Cirrus Assessment is now even more user-friendly and intuitive than ever before.

Would you like to know more about how Cirrus can help your organisation easily create, deliver and analyse digital exams? Please feel free to get in touch for a chat or a free demo.

Read about another Cirrus update which reduces stress levels during exams, fostering a relaxed and positive testing environment while maintaining overall control of the exam process.

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Vegard Sivertsen
Cirrus’ founder and CEO is passionate about the potential of EdTech to transform how we teach and assess skills and knowledge.
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