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Web > Usability Testing

Usability Testing

Usability Testing

Here we’ll collect questions, build the tests, and later report on what we found out.

Usability testing: undergraduates

Task Question
Intro: hello, details (program, year, etc.), how the session will go
Intro: Where do they start to do their research?
Intro: Familiarity with library web site
Finding material
Find an article given a citation
[show them this printed out]

Title: “Democracy, Political Institutions, and Trust: The Limits of Current Electoral Reform”

Authors: W.A. Johnston, Harvey Krahn, Trevor Harrison

Journal: The Canadian Journal of Sociology

Volume: 31

http://www.library.yorku.ca/ccm/Steacie/e-books.enIssue: 2

Pages: 165-182

You need to read this article. How would you find it?

Find a book given title and/or author. (Perhaps design question to draw out something about browse vs. keyword search.)
[show them title and author printed out]

Students: You need to read a few chapters from this book. Do we have a copy? Where is it?

Title: The Substance Abuse Handbook

Author: Pedro Ruiz

Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Publication date: 2007

[Use a book that's in print and online. Depending on which one they choose, ask them to pursue the other course. Ask if they use e-books, prefer them, what they think about them.]

Starting research on a given topic

(If they find books/scholarly articles/news sources and stop, ask also about other types of resources.)

Students: You need to write a paper about autism. How would you start? Where would you look on the library web site?

Faculty: [Equivalent question. Context: Being asked to give a keynote talk at a conference about a subject outside their field, and they need to brush up?]

Using course reserves

[show course info and prof's name printed out]

Students: You’re taking ANTH 2150, Early Civilizations, taught by Prof. Kathryn Denning, and need to find what she has put on reserve at the library. Where would you look?

Faculty: [how to put a book on reserve]

Using electronic resources
General use of electronic resources
First, a very general question: how do you use online sources such as journals and e-books and databases? What do you like? What do you not like?
Find an electronic resource by name You want to search the database called Scholars Portal. How would you get to it?
Using electronic resources remotely Is it possible to read journals and use the databases from home? Is there anything special you have to do?

(Follow up: Have you used this? Have you ever had any trouble with it?)

Finding data and/or statistics
[Deena to make a good question.] Where would you start?
Finding information about the library
Find opening hours of a branch
Can you find when the Scott Library closes today?
Students: Meeting room bookings
Is there a group study room free in the Bronfman Business Library tonight?
Getting help
Ask a Librarian virtual reference/chat. Can they find it, and would they? People don’t know about the service and don’t seem too interested in it.
You’re working from home on a paper and run into some trouble finding enough good peer-reviewed articles. Would you expect to be able to have an online chat with a librarian to get some help?

[Tell them they can.] If you wanted to chat with a librarian, where would you start?

Find help with citations (citation page/virtual ref)
It’s late at night and the paper you’re writing is due tomorrow. You’re stuck on how to do the citations and bibliography in the style your professor wants. Where would you get help with that?
Services
Renewing a book (how do they think of this; do they know they have an account with us?)
You got an e-mail message that a book is due tomorrow. How would you renew it?
Circulation policies and late fees
How many books can you take out at once?
Workshops, tutorials, drop-in sessions (how well do people know about them; promotional aspect too?)
Where would you find information about drop-in workshops the library is offering?
Conclusion
Wrap-up
Do you have any comments about the web site that haven’t come up yet? Is there anything you’d like to add, or any suggestions I can take back?
Thanks

Usability testing: Faculty and grad students

Task Question
Intro: hello, details (program, year, etc.), how the session will go
Intro: Where do they start to do their research?
Intro: Familiarity with library web site
Finding material
Find an article given a citation
[show them this printed out]

Authors: W.A. Johnston, Harvey Krahn, Trevor Harrison

Title: “Democracy, Political Institutions, and Trust: The Limits of Current Electoral Reform”

Journal: The Canadian Journal of Sociology

Volume: 31

http://www.library.yorku.ca/ccm/Steacie/e-books.enIssue: 2

Pages: 165-182

You need to read this article. How would you find it?

Find a book given title and/or author. (Perhaps design question to draw out something about browse vs. keyword search.)
[show them title and author printed out]

Students: Your professor has assigned you to read TITLE, by AUTHOR. Do we have a copy? Where is it?

[Use a book that's in print and online. Depending on which one they choose, ask them to pursue the other course. Ask if they use e-books, prefer them, what they think about them.]

Starting research on a given topic

(If they find books/scholarly articles/news sources and stop, ask also about other types of resources.)

Students: You need to write a paper about autism. How would you start? Where would you look on the library web site?

Faculty: [Equivalent question. Context: Being asked to give a keynote talk at a conference about a subject outside their field, and they need to brush up?]

Using course reserves

[show course info and prof's name printed out]

Students: You’re taking ANTH 2150, Early Civilizations, taught by Prof. Kathryn Denning, and need to find what she has put on reserve at the library. Where would you look?

Faculty: [how to put a book on reserve]

Faculty: finding a video for class There’s a class coming up in one of your courses where you’re covering something that would be much easier to explain if you had some video to show. Where would you look for a videotape or DVD about the subject?
Faculty: New books
Would you be interested in getting a list every week or month of new books and electronic resources in subjects you’re interested in?

Where would you look on the site for such a list?

Faculty/grad: RACER/interlibrary loan There’s a certain book you want to read, but we don’t have it. How would you get it? [Find a book we don't have (easy title/author), make them look for it, when they fail, ask them how they'd go about getting it with ILL.)
Using electronic resources
General use of electronic resources
First, a very general question: how do you use online sources such as journals and e-books and databases? What do you like? What do you not like?
Find an electronic resource by name You want to search the database called Scholars Portal. How would you get to it?
Using electronic resources remotely Is it possible to read journals and use the databases from home? Is there anything special you have to do?

(Follow up: Have you used this? Have you ever had any trouble with it?)

Finding data and/or statistics
[Deena to make a good question.] Where would you start?
Finding information about the library
Find opening hours of a branch
Can you find when the Scott Library closes today?
Students: Meeting room bookings
Is there a group study room free in the Bronfman Business Library tonight?
Getting help
Ask a Librarian virtual reference/chat. Can they find it, and would they? People don’t know about the service and don’t seem too interested in it.
You’re working from home on a paper and run into some trouble finding enough good peer-reviewed articles. Would you expect to be able to have an online chat with a librarian to get some help?

[Tell them they can.] If you wanted to chat with a librarian, where would you start?

Find help with citations (citation page/virtual ref)
It’s late at night and the paper you’re writing is due tomorrow. You’re stuck on how to do the citations and bibliography in the style your professor wants. Where would you get help with that?
Faculty: arrange for a librarian to come to your class (liaison librarian)
You would like to have a librarian come to class to show some useful databases to your students. How would you get in touch with someone about coming to your class?
Services
Renewing a book (how do they think of this; do they know they have an account with us?)
You got an e-mail message that a book is due tomorrow. How would you renew it?
Circulation policies and late fees
How many books can you take out at once?
Workshops, tutorials, drop-in sessions (how well do people know about them; promotional aspect too?)
Where would you find information about drop-in workshops the library is offering?
Conclusion
Wrap-up
Do you have any comments about the web site that haven’t come up yet? Is there anything you’d like to add, or any suggestions I can take back?
Thanks

Possible questions

Topics were worked on at the 27 November 2008 and 4 December 2008 meetings.

  • intro/background: ask about familiarity with web site. Other questions?
  • how do they begin research? General question.
  • find an electronic resource by name (e.g. JSTOR): Your professor told you that JSTOR is a good place to find articles for a paper you’re writing. How would you get to it?
  • find a database by subject (students/faculty diff?)
  • find a subject guide: A friend told you that there is a page on the web site all about the best places to do research on economics. Where would you look for it?
  • find the opening hours of branch: Can you find when the Scott Library closes today?
  • find location of a branch
  • find a journal by title: You want to look through some recent issues of ????? magazine. Can you find them online? Where?
  • find an article given the citation: ??? citation
  • find a book given the title and/or author. (Perhaps design question to draw out something about browse vs. keyword search.): For your Canadian Literature course you need to read Solomon Gursky Was Here, by Mordechai Richler. Do we have a copy? Where is it?
  • meeting room bookings: Is there a group study room free in the Bronfman Business Library tonight?
  • find a course guide for a particular course: You’re taking SOSC 1740, Work and Society, and in the first week a librarian came to your class and showed you a page she’d made to help you with your assignments through the term. She said it would be on the web site. Can you find it?
  • Ask a Librarian/virtual reference/chat: can they find it, and would they? People don’t know about the service and don’t seem interested in it.
  • people seem to be uninterested in finding a subject of liaison librarian. Ask a question about this, to learn more, like why not or do they know what our terms mean?
  • find help on citations: It’s late at night and the paper you’re writing is due tomorrow. You’re stuck on how to do the citations and bibliography in APA style. Where would you look to find help with that?
  • RefWorks: You’re also having trouble exporting your citations from RefWorks (explain what it is). Where can you get help with that?
  • using electronic resources at home (button left-hand side, confusion, people worried about preconfiguration, general confusion): Is it possible to read journals from home? Is there anything special you have to do?
  • how to renew a book/see your account (how do people think of this, do they know they have an account with us?): How would you renew a book that’s due tomorrow?
  • finding something on course reserve: Your professor put a book on reserve for your class at the library. Where would you go to find it?
  • faculty: putting something ON reserve
  • faculty/grad: RACER/inter-library loan (and inter-campus borrowing?)
  • faculty: arrange for a librarian to come to your class
  • circulation policies, late fees
  • workshops, tutorials, drop-in sessions, etc.: how well do people know about them, and how easily can they find them? promotional aspect too?
  • DVDs and music: how well do they know about them, how easily can they find them? Promotional aspect here too? Different question for faculty, who can use these in their teaching
  • faculty: finding video for class: You want a DVD or videotape about AIDS for your class. Where can you find it?
  • new titles (get into not listed by subject?)
  • “What does ‘Find eResources by Title’ mean to you?”

2002 questions

In the 2002 testing they asked ten questions, to find out:

  • Organization: can you find what you need?
  • Ease of navigation: when you click on something, does it take you where you expect to go?
  • Labeling: do the words make sense?
  • Overall appearance: do you like the look?
  1. How would you search for the book “Boom Bust and Echo”?
  2. How would you find out what you/your professor put on reserve for your class?
  3. How would you use the home page to borrow a title from a non-York library?
  4. If you wanted to renew a book online, what would you do?
  5. If you wanted to attend a library instruction session, where would you look for the schedule?
  6. What are the hours of the Business and Government Publications Library?
  7. If you wanted to access the Sound and Moving Image Library website, where would you find it?
  8. If you wanted to find the ejournal called Canada World View, where would you look?
  9. What would you do to find some online articles on jazz?
  10. What is your overall impression of the website and do you have suggestions for improvements?

2004 testing

For the 2004 testing eleven questions were asked, for the same reasons.

  1. What are your primary uses of the library website?
  2. How would you find out about books you have out on your library card?
  3. Where would you find a guide to materials on jazz?
  4. How would you find the book Behind deep blue : building the computer that defeated the world chess champion ?
  5. Your book is coming due and you want to keep it out longer, what would you do?
  6. How do you get a book that York does not own?
  7. How would you find the name of the librarian who specializes in collecting materials in Biology?
  8. Where is the Peter F. Bronfman Business Library?
  9. Find the ejournal called Canada World View.
  10. What choices would you like to see under the heading on the right that represents your user group?
  11. What is your overall impression of the home page and do you have suggestions for improvements?

Western Washington U

What WWU asked. They had an objective, phrased a task for the user to do, and recorded the path taken:

Objective Task
Find specific collection/area of the library
Find the hours of the Music Library.
Your professor has told you about a book on music that you want to read. After searching the catalogue, you discover the book is held at the music library. Before you go to the music library, you want to find out what the hours are.
Find Special Collections.
You have heard the Special Collections in the library is showing an exhibit of photographs of WWU. You want to see the pictures because you think your Dad might be in one of them but you have no idea where Special Collections is located.
Find a map of the library.
Your study group said to meet them near the children’s collection but you can’t remember which floor it’s on. Find the children’s collection.
Find assistance
Find help in accessing the online databases from home
You have used ProQuest in the library to find articles but you want to know if you can access ProQuest from home.
Find out where to borrow a laptop.
For how long can you borrow laptops in the library and where can you get one?
Locate a research guide
Find guides and pathfinders to assist with research
You have been told that library staff have constructed an online guide on Advertising. You are writing a paper on the topic and think it will help. How would you locate it?
Locate a guide that will clarify questions about plagiarism
You are an incoming student working on your first paper, and you are confused about what constitutes plagiarism. You have been told the library offers a guide. Where would you find it?
Find a database (non-bibliographic)
Locate an item on the alphabetical database list that is not a database.
Your professor told you to go to the library and find the Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics. How would you do this?
Locate a non-bibliographic database
Your professor has asked you to locate a database that will enable you to retrieve marketing statistics. How would you do this?
Locate a database by name only
For an assignment your professor has suggested that you use a database called Ingenta. How would you find this?
Others (not classified on their handout)
You have a book checked out and need to renew it.
You have to cite your sources using the MLA style and you want to find out how to do it.
You have a paper to write for your anthropology class and you need four articles. You can’t use ProQuest.
You have a library fine of more than $15.00 and you can’t register for classes. Find the contact information for the Circulation Desk.
You’re taking a theatre class and have been told there is a research guide to help you find your final paper. Find the research guide.
You are going to do some studying this weekend and you want to know when the library closes on Saturday.
Where would you go on this web site to learn more about accessing the databases from home?
You are meeting your friends in Wilson 4 Central but you don’t know where it is. Locate Wilson 4 Central.
You are taking a communications class and you need to find a book on the subject of “intercultural communications.”
There is a book you need but WWU does not own it. How would you go about requesting books from another library?

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