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Usability & the google generation access2010



People bring their Google behaviours to your site. This presentation to t

People bring their Google behaviours to your site. This presentation to t



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Usability & the google generation access2010 Usability & the google generation access2010 Presentation Transcript

  • Usability Testing & The Google Generation
    Presented to Access 2010, October 14th, 2010
    Library Technologies Conference
    Lisa Fast lisa@neoinsight.com
  • What is this Talk About?
    We are all the Google Generation
    Google Expectations and Behaviours observed in many Usability Tests
    Google Scholar versus Navigation in a usability test
    Approaches to Usability Testing
  • We are all the Google Generation
  • The ‘Google Generation’
    Broadly used to refer people born after 1993
    “a generation whose first port of call for knowledge is the internet & a search engine”
    Stereotype may be fairly accurate:
    2% of students start their information search on a library site - 89% use a search engine
    From the Perceptions of Libraries & Information Resources report 2005 http://www.oclc.org/reports/2005perceptions.htm
    Are the rest of us that different?
  • 78% of U.S. adult Internet users perform online research before a product purchase.
    No difference across age groups except for those 65 & over
    n=2,065, Sept 2010
  • “…research-behaviour traits that are commonly associated with younger users – impatience in search and navigation, and zero tolerance for any delay in satisfying their information needs – are now the norm for all age-groups, from younger pupils and undergraduates through to professors.
    Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future, January 2008.
  • More than 15 billion Google searches per month in the U.S.
  • The average person spends 2 hours per month on Google
  • Our brains like to build on existing knowledge. It helps us conserve our limited attention resources for our tasks.
  • Google Expectations & Behaviour Patterns
    Trends observed in 150+ hours of
    Neo Insight Usability Test Sessions
    For more details, see:
  • Expectation 1: If a field is labeled Keyword or Search, it will work just like Google.
  • Recommendations for Field Labels
    Don’t use broad labels like Keyword or Full Text if the search is scoped by other fields or is restricted in any way.
    The label should clearly define the scope.
    Don’t use sub-instructions in small font.
    Don’t use a Search button for a scoped advanced search.
    Google labels their button Advanced Search
  • Expectation 2: All search fields will correct my spelling, like Google does.
  • It’s More Than Spelling
    People focus on their task, not spelling
    Hyphens and spaces cause problems
    Synonyms cause problems
    On the example site above, synonyms are supported, but only if you get the hyphen and space right!
    No Space – The Right Results
    Missing a space = No Results
  • Recommendations
    Ensure your search engine supports spelling correction and plural versions.
    And synonyms for top tasks
    Better yet, provide type-ahead – people like it because they know it helps them to avoid errors.
  • Expectation 3: The search results will appear as quickly as Google.
  • “Zero Tolerance for Delay”
    What we see in tests: people abandon library and site search if it’s too slow to respond.
    Google found that delays as short as 400 milliseconds caused a significant reduction in the number of subsequent searches people made.
    The study also suggests that it’s better to delay showing the page completely than to show some of it and then have a delay
    Recommendation:  Google is setting the pace. If your search results aren’t presented quickly, they’ll leave and go to Google.
  • Expectation 4: If I can’t complete my task easily & quickly on the site, I’ll google instead.
  • Recommendations
    Improve so people won’t feel compelled to leave
    Optimize your top task paths –start the task on Home.
    Ensure your site search is quick and google-like
    Make the best of it – make it easy for people to use Google and then return to your site
    Make sure that people can copy & paste into fields in wizards or search mechanisms.
    For deep sites, make sure page contents are available to search engines, so people can arrive directly at their desired content.
  • Comparing Google Scholar to Hierarchical Navigation
  • Many young people do not find library-sponsored resources intuitive and therefore prefer to use Google or Yahoo instead: these offer a familiar, if simplistic solution, for their study needs.
    Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future, January 2008.
  • Google Scholar Comparison
    Participants were asked to find the same article two ways:
    Could start at either Google Scholar or existing menu
    No federated search in place at the time
    Google Scholar improved performance
    Median time was reduced by 80%
    A Canada Research Chair faculty member dropped from 198 seconds to 27 seconds to find his own article
    Satisfaction improved by 50% (80% very satisfied)
    All but one said “Next time, I’ll use Google Scholar”
  • Why Did They Prefer Google Scholar?
    • Seeing results so quickly helps users refine their search, if necessary. With the Journals route, it can >6 clicks to see article titles.
    • It’s familiar – they know how to use it.
  • Make Federated Search your Default
    Don’t Do this (people won’t find it)
    Do this!
  • No Federated Search Yet?
    Don’t Do This:
    If the Selection menu is AFTER the search field, people will hit Enter after their search term, and miss it.
    Do This:
    Put the menu BEFORE the search field, so that they see it before they start their usual flow.
  • Approaches to Usability Testing
  • The Testing Process
    Site designers aren’t site visitors
    Test the usability (effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction) of top tasks for target audiences
    Testing is qualitative
    it’s the WHAT & WHY not the HOW MANY
    Task design is key – the right task in the right way
    Participants perform tasks on a screen-share with a facilitator & observers
    Sessions are video-recorded, notes are synced
    Identify symptoms & root causes of usability issues
    Make design/redesign recommendations
  • Iterative Testing Will Find Most Problems
    Participants should perform your top tasks
    – E.g. Find a book/journal article/, Hours, Locations
    3 tests with 5 or more users will find most problems
  • Advantages of Using Professionals
    Experience with task identification methods results in the right tasks
    Process is streamlined & well-defined
    Statistical expertise for quantitative analysis
    Recommendations are based on:
    experience with many sites, knowledge of conventions and latest techniques
    Can apply different types of tests to fit the particular need of the site & team
  • Do It Yourself
    Any tests are better than none
    except if youuse the designers as participants!
    easier to do iterative testing & make changes
    Scale of testing can range from:
    Complete set of tests
    To mini-tests – sit beside the person, take notes, screen snapshots
    Recruit on your site to build a pool of participants for when you need them
    Follow your ethics guidelines!
  • Some Great Resources
  • New Quantitative Methods
  • New Options for Testing: Unmoderated
    New tools run the tests for you
    Examples: Loop 11, UteTool, User Zoom
    Reference book: Beyond the Usability Lab, by Albert, Tullis and Tedesco
    Tasks need very careful design
    Risk: Garbage in, garbage out!
    Need lots of people - recruit on your site
    Tells you What and How Many - combine with a few moderated tests to get the Why
  • Popular Option: A/B Testing
    Use Google’s Website Optimizer to test two versions of a page
    See which page is more successful
    Takes careful design
    Change just a few things to identify the issues
    Need enough traffic
    Use online resources to learn more
    Try tests at http://whichtestwon.com/
  • Learn From Other People’s Tests
    Version A
    Version B
    Version A boosted Library newsletter sign-ups by 52.8%.
  • Summary
    People use Google 2 hours per month
    They will transfer that learning
    You’re not Google
    but you can act like them or use their tools
    Usability testing identifies problems
    Do it! Hire professionals or do it yourself
    Fewer problem calls, better self-service
    New testing methods answer more questions, with quantitative data
  • Gord Hopkins
    User Experience Specialist(613) 836-0660gord@neoinsight.com
    Mike Atyeo
    Phone (613) 271-3001
    Email info@neoinsight.com
    Web www.neoinsight.com
    Mail Suite 374 300 Earl Grey Drive Ottawa, Ontario Canada K2T 1C1
    Strategic design(613) 599-7470mike@neoinsight.com
    Scott Smith
    Competitive strategy(613) 271-3004scott@neoinsight.com
    Lisa Fast
    Experience Designer(613) 686-6672lisa@neoinsight.com