Usability & the Connecticut State Library Web Site
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Presentation for content providers at the Connecticut State Library on usability. Review the concepts of usability and the user experience, describe a usability project at the University of ...

Presentation for content providers at the Connecticut State Library on usability. Review the concepts of usability and the user experience, describe a usability project at the University of Connecticut, and assess other state libraries' web sites based on information covered in this session.

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  • Start with some questions about creating / using web sites Ever had a problem using a web site? Your fault? Theirs? Important strategy to improve web sites is usability – and the focus of today’s talk… But first Who has a sense of what usability is? Anyone done any usability testing? http://www.sxc.hu/photo/453218 Go to https://spirit.lib.uconn.edu/ERM//index.php?liaisonEditSubjectPage= & bookmark tab

Usability & the Connecticut State Library Web Site Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Usability & the Connecticut State Library Web Site Stephanie Willen Brown Electronic Resources Librarian University of Connecticut [email_address] 860.486.4855
  • 2.  
  • 3. Act Like a User: Find an Obituary
    • Uncle Joe died in the 1950’s. I want to see his obituary!
      • What’s the first thing you see?
      • How would you go about getting Uncle Joe’s obituary?
      • Site 1
      • Site 2
      • Site 3
  • 4. http://www.nh.gov/nhsl/
  • 5. http://www.lib.az.us/
  • 6. http://www.library.ca.gov/
  • 7. Today
    • Define UX, usability
      • Why do they matter?
      • Discuss elements of UX as they affect web sites
    • UConn’s usability test
      • Assessment
      • Test
      • Results
    • Break
    • Review state library web sites
      • Complete common scenarios
      • Assess based on new knowledge
  • 8. Why Should We Care About UX?
      • “ Your web site is the embodiment of your library ... For customers to feel they have a good relationship with your library, they must first feel they have a good relationship with the web site — and that begins with the user experience.”
      • Paraphrased from Garrett, J.J.
      • “ Customer Loyalty and the Elements of User Experience”
  • 9. The Elements of User Experience
      • Peter Morville,
      • Ambient Findability
  • 10. What is Usability?
    • Usability … assesses how easy user interfaces are to use . The word “usability” also refers to methods for improving ease-of-use during the design process.
    Jakob Nielsen, Usability 101
  • 11. Components of Good Design
    • Learnability
    • Efficiency
    • Memorability
    • Error recovery
    • Satisfaction
  • 12. How to Achieve Good Design
    • Think like a user
    • Consistent design
    • Tweak text
  • 13. Thinking Like a User
    • “… let’s acknowledge the vital importance of empathy for the user . Only by understanding and caring about the perspective of the individual can we design useful, usable solutions.”
    Peter Morville, Ambient Findability
  • 14. Consistency
    • Color, graphics
    • Orientation & navigation
    • Language
  • 15. Above the Fold
  • 16. Pretty! Functional?
  • 17. Reading Online: Proust
    • For a long time I used to go to bed early. Sometimes, when I had put out my candle, my eyes would close so quickly that I had not even time to say "I'm going to sleep." And half an hour later the thought that it was time to go to sleep would awaken me; I would try to put away the book which, I imagined, was still in my hands, and to blow out the light; I had been thinking all the time, while I was asleep, of what I had just been reading, but my thoughts had run into a channel of their own, until I myself seemed actually to have become the subject of my book: a church, a quartet, the rivalry between Francois I and Charles V. This impression would persist for some moments after I was awake; it did not disturb my mind, but it lay like scales upon my eyes and prevented them from registering the fact that the candle was no longer burning. Then it would begin to seem unintelligible, as the thoughts of a former existence must be to a reincarnate spirit; the subject of my book would separate itself from me, leaving me free to choose whether I would form part of it or no; and at the same time my sight would return and I would be astonished to find myself in a state of darkness, pleasant and restful enough for the eyes, and even more, perhaps, for my mind, to which it appeared incomprehensible, without a cause, a matter dark indeed.
    Swann’s Way / Marcel Proust
  • 18. Text-heavy Home Page
  • 19. Which is Easiest to Understand? Type Books | Journals | Reports | Videos | Web Sites Sciences Biology | Chemistry | Microbiology | Physics | Zoology Biology Books Chemistry Journals Microbiology Physics Reports Videos Web Sites Zoology
    • Type Sciences
    • Books • Biology
    • Journals • Chemistry
    • Reports • Microbiology
    • Videos • Physics
    • Web Sites • Zoology
  • 20. Arguably …
    • Why?
    • Content arranged logically, with clear headings & bullets
    • Alphabetical within groups
    • Content goes down, as it does in traditional print
    • Words are “chunked” into pieces for easy scanning
    • Type Sciences
    • Books • Biology
    • Journals • Chemistry
    • Reports • Microbiology
    • Videos • Physics
    • Web Sites • Zoology
  • 21. Satisfaction?? http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/mssc/posters.htm
  • 22. Jargon to Library Users
    • “ E RIC, I think it ’s some kind of journal … some kind of citation. ”
    • Reference Shelf “[It’s] very general. You don’t know what to expect as it could be anything.”
  • 23. Jargon for Travelers
    • You need the cheapest round-trip ticket from Boston to London.
    • You go to
    • These are your options – which is right?
      • Flights & Prices
      • Fares
      • 3 Best Itineraries
  • 24. How Identify Site Problems?
    • Objectively evaluate site
    • Focus group of
      • Current / typical users
      • Non-users!
    • Surveys of
      • Current / typical users
      • Non-users!
    • Usability studies
  • 25. Usability Testing
    • Define users
    • Create tasks to mimic what users would realistically do on site
    • Do usability testing early & often
      • 3-5 users highlights 85% of errors
      • Better to test several small groups than 10-15 at once
    • Note errors, redesign and retest
  • 26. Suggested Usability Setup Facilitator Participant @ computer Note-taker 2 Note-taker 1
  • 27. Read to the “Tester”
  • 28. UConn’s Database Locator
  • 29. UConn’s Redesign Goals
    • Database usage statistics outweighs f2f library-user contact in 2006:
      • f2f contact with patrons: 55,629
      • Database sessions: 470,327
    • UConn Libraries Plan 2010 “Scholar’s Portal:
      • “ Provide immediate, unmediated , and comprehensive access to digitized research and scholarly collections worldwide.”
    • Peter Morville: Make Things Findable
  • 30. Usage Log Analysis
    • March - May 2006, UConn patrons …
      • Used the subject browse 18,000 times.
      • Performed a keyword search 15,800 times; and
      • Clicked on Databases by Title 6,600 times;
  • 31. Query Log Analysis
    • Databases
      • america history and life
      • lexus nexus
      • infotrack
    • Subjects
      • education
      • pharmacy medicine
      • anthropologyu
    • Topics
      • hamlet insane
      • adopted children of same sex couples
      • “ why doesn’t the us have a eurpean-style welfate state?”
  • 32. Usability Testing: 3 Rounds
    • Who?
      • 3 undergraduates, 1 grad, 1 faculty in each
      • Storrs & regional campuses
    • What?
      • First tested old system
      • Major redesign
      • Tested redesign
      • Tweaked design
      • Tested again
  • 33. Usability Tasks
    • Find a business database
    • Your professor said “use a database named ERIC”
    • Find articles about diabetes for your nursing class
    • Find a newspaper article from the day you were born
    • … plus 5 more …
  • 34.
    • Subject browse: ~ 18,000 ;
    • Keyword search 15,800 ; and
    • Databases by Title: 6,600
  • 35. Browse by Topic  Business
  • 36.  
  • 37. Find a Database Named ERIC
  • 38. Diabetes Article, I diabetes
  • 39. Diabetes Article, II
  • 40. Focus Groups vs. Usability Testing
    • In response to question “Rate this site, 1-5  s”
      • Testers rated     to     
    • In response to question “would you recommend this to a friend?”
      • Testers said yes
  • 41.  
  • 42. What We Did
    • Designed for “lowest common denominator”
      • Inserted “affordances” for advanced users which are…
      • Harmless to users unfamiliar with site
    • Removed search box
    • Created topical arrangement that students would expect (UConn major)
    • Limited to 5 databases per page (Best Bets)
      • Sorted by relevance: 1 st database would be good enough in most cases
      • Offered more databases if they clicked on “more”
      • Best bets marked on the longer database page
    • Shortened written descriptions
  • 43. http://rdl.lib.uconn.edu/bySubject.php
  • 44. Best Bets in Library Science
  • 45. UConn’s Database Descriptions, I
    • ABI/Inform Global ABI/Inform Global Full-text articles from 1800 journals covering business, finance, management and related functional areas. ABI/INFORM Global indexes a total of 2700 major publications. Subject coverage includes: business and management, including all functional areas.
  • 46. Database Description, Essential Info
    • ABI/Inform Global
    • ABI/Inform Global
    • Full-text articles
    • from 1800 journals
    • covering business, finance, management
    • and related functional areas.
    • ABI/INFORM Global
    • indexes
    • a total of 2700 major publications.
    • Subject coverage includes:
    • Business and management, including all functional areas.
  • 47. UConn’s Database Description, II
    • ABI/INFORM Global
    • Articles in business, finance, management, accounting, advertising, banking, insurance, marketing, public administration, real estate, and telecommunications. 1991-current (fulltext); 1971-current (index & abstracts).
  • 48. Final Round of Testing
  • 49. Tech Notes
    • RDL is public view of data elements from “home-grown” electronic resource management system (ERM)
    • ERM written in
      • PHP
      • MySQL
      • Some javascript  Ajax
  • 50. UConn Redesign Team
    • Stephanie Willen Brown , electronic resource librarian & liaison to Communication Sciences
    • Susanna Cowan , undergraduate education & outreach librarian
    • Kate Fuller , reference collection maintenance coordinator and / administrative assistant
    • Jill Livingston , reference librarian/liaison to the school of allied health
    • Tom Wood , applications developer
    • Co-authors: “Making Unmediated Access to E-Resources a Reality: Creating a Usable ERM Interface,” Reference and User Services Quarterly, Summer 2009
  • 51. Break
  • 52. @ CSLib.org
  • 53. Visits to Conn. State Library, 2008 ytd
  • 54. Most Popular Queries  CSLib.org
    • Conn* 56,000
    • Librar*  52,300
    • Statute* 13,000
    • Histor* 9,800
    • Newspaper*  7,800
    • Law* or legisl* 7,700
    • Genealog* 3,200
    • Obit* 2,152
    • Blind 2,008
    • Archiv* 1,700
    • Felon* 1,600
  • 55. Most Visited Pages
    • index.htm 235,244 (main page)
    • psaindex.htm 70,832 (Public & Special Acts & General Statutes of Connecticut)
    • handg.htm 54,522 (History and Genealogy)
    • publicrecords 49,175 (Public Records Administrator)
    • nickname.htm 48,568 (A Listing Of Some 18th and 19th Century American Nicknames)
    • law.htm 46,436 (Connecticut Law and Legislation)
    • faq.htm 42,566 (CSL Research Resources)
    • history.htm 33,845 (Connecticut History)
    • jobs.htm 26,919 (State Library Job Openings)
    • finespenalt.htm 26,043 (State Of Connecticut Table On Fines And Penalties)
  • 56. 3 Scenarios; Volunteers Requested
    • Scenarios; 2-minute limit
      • Find library services for the blind in Michigan
      • Find Pennsylvania statutes
      • Find records retention & disposal guidelines in Maine
    • Volunteers a ttempt to perform task
    • Audience
      • Note the first thing you see
      • Note problems encountered by volunteer
  • 57. Library Services for the Blind
  • 58. Find Pennsylvania Statutes
  • 59. Record Retention & Disposal
  • 60. Discuss Testing Process
    • Discuss
      • Scenario completion
      • Process of usability testing?
    • Value of process to …
      • Site designers
      • Content providers
      • Observers
  • 61. Group Assessment of More Sites
    • Let’s look at more state library sites. Based on what we’ve discussed today
      • What do you like & why
      • What don’t you like & why
    • Assessment criteria?
    Patron hat Librarian hat
  • 62. http://www.library.state.ak.us/
  • 63. http://libraries.vermont.gov/
  • 64. http://www.aclin.org/
  • 65. http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/home.html
  • 66. http://winslo.state.oh.us/
  • 67. Pretty But Not Functional http://www.lva.lib.va.us/
  • 68. http://www.kdla.ky.gov/
  • 69. For More Information
    • Recommended articles about usability testing
      • http://gslis.simmons.edu/mw/browns/Usability
    • Links to state library sites discussed here
      • http://gslis.simmons.edu/mw/browns/State_libraries
    • Link to presentation on SlideShare
      • http://tinyurl.com/cslib-usability-Dec08
    • Keep in touch!
      • Stephanie Willen Brown
      • [email_address]
      • IM: CogSciLibrarian