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Library Website Usability Study

The library website is the primary discovery tool for our students to find materials to inform their research, complete projects, and pursue topics of personal interest. It is very important that the website is designed to allow easy retrieval of information for all users. The purpose of usability testing is to identify any problems on our website by observing how people use it in order to enhance the user experience of the website.

 We conducted the first usability testing in the fall of 2011.  A number of changes in the organization and navigation of the website were implemented based on the feedback from the student and faculty participants. These changes successfully resolved the issues identified during the testing, resulting in an uptick in web traffic to our web resources.

 This month we started the second round of usability testing.  This round aims to discover the difficulties users encounter when seeking information as well as to assess the effectiveness of the research guides (subject-specific portals created by the librarians to provide access to high quality research resources).  We hope to resolve these difficulties as we rethink the organization and navigation of the website and the research guides. 

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