UX Research Study: Website Usability

I have always fascinated by UX in the library realm (I even blogged about it as far back as 2013!).

While I worked as a librarian at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB), I wanted to find ways to enhance the usability of the online research aids (i.e., LibGuides) the library offered. One reason I saw a need to change the design of our current Libguides was due to a steep drop in clicks from the Libguide homepage to subsequent pages. Something about the way the guides were laid out was causing users to navigate away from the page. Therefore, I teamed up with the Systems Librarian to set up a usability study.

Methods:

  • Participant interviewing
  • Prototype design
  • Task design
  • User moderation
  • A/B user testing

Details on User Testing:

Usability Test 1

  • Students were asked to draw their ideal Libguide on a large piece of paper
  • The systems librarian and I explained what Libguides were and showed them Mount Holyoke, UT Arlington, and UMHB Libguides as a reference

Usability Test 2

  • 3 prototypes were created based on student suggestions from usability test 1
    • Prototype A: Based on Mount Holyoke’s Libguide layout
    • Prototype B: Based on UT Arlington’s Libguide layout
    • Prototype: UMHB’s Libguide
  • After the prototypes were created a series of tasks were composed
    • 4 users were given the tasks and asked to complete them for each prototype

Project output:

  • Development of a redesigned template for the Library's Libguide pages (see before and after versions below)

Description