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Web Usability Testing Clearing the Path to Library Resources and Services Victor Baeza, Robin Leech, Karen Neurohr MPLA Annual Conference, 2008 Salt Lake.

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Presentation on theme: "Web Usability Testing Clearing the Path to Library Resources and Services Victor Baeza, Robin Leech, Karen Neurohr MPLA Annual Conference, 2008 Salt Lake."— Presentation transcript:

1 Web Usability Testing Clearing the Path to Library Resources and Services Victor Baeza, Robin Leech, Karen Neurohr MPLA Annual Conference, 2008 Salt Lake City, UT

2 Background Web page history –Distributed model with web editor University template re-design University logo change Impetus from library administration Impetus from library staff

3 Our starting point [graphic of our old library home page]

4 OSU home page

5 Usability - What is it? Ease of use (Jakob Neilsen)... really just means making sure that something works well: that a person of average ability … and experience can use the thing … for its intended purpose without getting hopelessly frustrated. (Steve Krug) … Extent to which a product can be used by specific users to achieve designated goals with efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction (Shelagh K. Genuis)

6 Why should we test? Learn how/why/where users become frustrated If you want a great site, youve got to test (Steve Krug) …can reveal problems in design, navigation, layout or labeling… (Gore & Hirsh) Replaces opinion with user- centered data (Beth Thomsett-Scott)

7 Why Test? Library Strategic Goals Why Test? Library Strategic Goals Goal Two: Library Services: continually refocus library services to meet the needs of our users –Objective 2.2: Develop a systematic and on- going assessment of library services through user surveys, meetings with representative student and faculty groups, and analysis of use statistics. –Objective 2.4: Expand and improve Public Services to maximize use of resources and facilities, resulting in streamlined research and retrieval processes for library users.

8 Recommendations Create a Usability Testing Group –5-6 key people (technical, reference, etc.) Set goals and objectives –Look at the big picture, where are we going? Target population(s) –Students, faculty, staff, donors, state

9 Recommendations Type of tools –Formal usability, question development, IM & e-mail archives Frequency –At least 3 test groups; 3 web page revisions Create a Web Page Re-Design Group –5-6 key people (technical, reference, etc.) Test Environment/Equipment – PC with Camtasia

10 Team composition Usability Team –4 library faculty –1 staff Web Re-design Team –3 library faculty –2 staff

11 Charge to our Team Begin conducting usability testing Begin library home page redesign Move library home page into university template

12 Team assignments Exploring the literature Web log files Exploring other sites Staff surveys Workshop attendance Local workshop for library faculty/staff Meetings, meetings, meetings Consultations

13 Timeline

14 Institutional Review Board Incentives Methodology Risks Benefits

15 Survey 1 - Current Site 4 Open-Ended Questions –5 things you like about current site –5 things youd like to see changed –Names and/or URLs of sites you like and why the site appeals to you –List some features youd like to see on our site

16 Significant Findings

17 Usability Testing: Tools Considered Focus groups (students) Survey (paper or verbal) Heuristics (site analysis by experts) Prototypes (paper mockups) Usability walk-through Server log analysis Card sorting

18 Testing New Template Card Sorts Focus Groups Survey Library Faculty/Staff again Recorded task tests (Morae)

19 Card Sorting Open Card Sorting – New or Existing Sites – Users define groups/headings – Good for redesign or creating new Closed Card Sorting – Existing Sites – Predefined groups/headings – Good for adding new content

20 Card Sorting Answers – Grouping Information – Navigation Strategies – Users Understanding Advantages – Quick – Inexpensive – Very User Centered – Simple – Sets direction/focus

21 Card Sorting Disadvantages – Content focused – Shallow (not task driven) – Limited by users knowledge – Can be inconsistent – Analyzer bias

22 Our Card Sorts Test Group – 2 beta (undergrads) – 5 grads – 1 faculty Terms from our web pages Favored terms from other sites Organizational structure

23 Card Sorts Stu: ILL? I thought it was a big hassle. Adm: Its a library term Stu: Instead of ILL maybe have something to make it easier – Cant find it? No problem, try InterLibrary Loan.

24 Focus Groups 2 undergrads, 2 grads, 1 faculty Pizza & pop 1 moderator, 1 note taker

25 Focus Groups Advantages –Stimulates discussion –Hear different viewpoints –Students eager to share opinion –Relatively inexpensive Disadvantages –Best to have a trained facilitator –Group think –Qualitative data hard to organize

26 Survey 2- Library Faculty & Staff After focus groups and card sorts Twelve, more specific questions Purpose: To improve the library home page for most OSU students. *Questions in this survey address topics that were not decisive from summer efforts

27 Top Navigation Bar Order or hierarchy of topics is effective for most OSU students. If disagree that hierarchy is effective, place items in order of effectiveness.




31 Content Box, page center

32 Miscellaneous Effectiveness of overall layout of page? Add last update to bottom of page? Add prominent links to branch libraries? Add small icons for visual interest to some of the page topics?

33 Uniformity Relevance to the library Logo- @ the library Suggestions for additional pictures

34 1. Find Catalog, Books 2. Find Articles 3. Hours (and Contact Us)

35 Additional Comments Mix of negative and positive comments, but more positive Most suggestions- cosmetic changes (color, font, bullets, etc.)



38 Peoples expectations are based on web sites they go to and use frequently. People will comment on anything and everything; may have nothing to do with functionality Dont underestimate the ownership that library faculty and staff feel to the library site. Things to Keep in Mind

39 More Things to Keep in Mind Dont take comments personally. You cant please everyone. Theres no such thing as perfect. Its always a work in progress.

40 Task Testing 11 undergrads One-on-one task testing 8 questions Alternatives to Morae (TechSmith) Camtasia Jing Your own video camera Consent forms

41 Morae Student Screen Time line Student video Student task directory

42 Our current iteration

43 Link on homepage Tell Us What You Think

44 Home Page Feedback Fall Semester Findings included BOSS Rocks! Spring Semester Findings really easy to use and navigate Improvements Needed

45 Considerations Accessibility Administrative (structure) Time … time … time Timing of re-design Budget Getting Volunteers

46 Questions? Victor Baeza Robin Leech Karen Neurohr

47 Bibliography Abram, S. (2007). 20 Tips to Inspire Innovation. American Libraries, 46-48. Jasek, Chris. (2004). How to Design Library Web Sites to Maximize Usability. Library Connect Newsletter (5). Krug, S. (2006). Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (2nd ed.). Indianapolis, IN: New Riders Publishing. Kupersmith, J. (2005, June 2, 2006). Library Terms Evaluated in Usability Tests and Other Studies. Retrieved February 9, 2007, from Kupersmith, J. (2007, January 10, 2007). Library Terms That Users Understand. Retrieved February 9, 2007, from Norlin, Elaina and CM! Winters. (2002). Usability Testing for Library Web Sites. Chicago: ALA Publications.

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