November 2013

Simple User Research Methods
the First Step to Improving Your Website

UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
Ginger Bidwell ...
Center for Creative Photography website
Special Collections website
Many other websites
Google Analytics: a starting point
Google Analytics: learn what and where
• What are my users tapping on?
• Where did they come from?
• What were users looki...
Google Analytics: learn what and where
What are my users tapping on?
Google Analytics: learn what and where
What are my users tapping on?
Google Analytics: learn what and where
Where did they come from?
Google Analytics: learn what and where
Where did they come from?
Google Analytics: learn what and where
What were users looking for?
Google Analytics: learn what and where
What content do they use the most?
Google Analytics: learn what and where
Where do they go on your site?
Google Analytics can’t tell you:
• Who they are

• What they gained
• How they felt
• Why they left

Use in-person methods...
User interviews help you learn why and how
User interviews can tell you:
• Why they use a service

• How they think about things
• Whether they would use a service
•...
How to do user interviews
• Formulate questions that can be answered quickly

• Find a place where your users hang out
• O...
User interviews help you learn why and how
What is Document Delivery?

https://vimeo.com/78376929
Focus Groups can give you longer stories from
users and conversations that can help shape
the project
How to do focus groups
• Formulate questions that will generate discussion

• Find people from your target audience
• Invi...
Focus groups help you learn more about who,
why, and how
Users having a conversation about your site

“What materials are ...
Use card sorting to guide your labels and
structure
Open
vs.
Closed
vs.
Hybrid

Entire website
vs.
section of website
Remote
vs.
in person
Recruit actual
users.
Pay attention to the way they describe things.
Why test your website?
Usability testing can lead to changes that
directly help your end user
Usability testing can tell you
• Who they are

• How they feel about your site
• What obstacles exist
• Where changes need...
What and how to test
What and how to test

Intercept Usability Testing
vs.
In-depth Usability Testing
Intercept Testing
Intercept Testing: Message to your users
What: Tasks and Scenarios

Task: To learn about renewing a library book
Scenario: You have a library book that is due
soon...
How: Chart paths to see user drop points and
success rates.

User 1: Sophomore, English
• Attempt 1: My Account > Sign-In ...
Capture comments to relay at decision meetings
• Could renewing be grouped under borrowing
privileges?
• I wouldn’t look u...
Show your results
Task

Users

Success
(Users)

%

Total
Attempts

Success
(Attempts)

%

1

Find out circulation
periods
...
In-depth usability testing
• Tests more in-depth functions

• Video-tape
• Duration: 30-60 minutes
• Substantial reward

•...
In-depth usability testing: Primary User
Groups

Undergraduate
Student

Archivist

Graduate Student

Faculty Member
In-depth Usability Testing

https://vimeo.com/78200435
Intercept Testing
• Perform intercept usability test
Where does user research fit in?
Who benefits from user research?
• Designers and developers can make data-backed
decisions
• Content editors get familiar ...
What happens when you add user research to
your process?
• More people care about improving the website
• Your knowledge b...
Questions?
Rebecca
• @blakistonr
• blakistonr@u.library.arizona.edu

Rachel
• rahawes@email.arizona.edu

Ginger
• @liquid0...
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Simple User Research Methods: the First Step to Improving Your Website

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AzLA 2013 presentation by Ginger Bidwell, Rebecca Blakiston, and Rachel Hawes. November, 2013, in Fort McDowell, Arizona.

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Simple User Research Methods: the First Step to Improving Your Website

  1. 1. November 2013 Simple User Research Methods the First Step to Improving Your Website UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES Ginger Bidwell • Rebecca Blakiston • Rachel Hawes
  2. 2. Center for Creative Photography website
  3. 3. Special Collections website
  4. 4. Many other websites
  5. 5. Google Analytics: a starting point
  6. 6. Google Analytics: learn what and where • What are my users tapping on? • Where did they come from? • What were users looking for? • What content do they use the most? • Where do they go on the site? Free up your time with users in-person for other questions
  7. 7. Google Analytics: learn what and where What are my users tapping on?
  8. 8. Google Analytics: learn what and where What are my users tapping on?
  9. 9. Google Analytics: learn what and where Where did they come from?
  10. 10. Google Analytics: learn what and where Where did they come from?
  11. 11. Google Analytics: learn what and where What were users looking for?
  12. 12. Google Analytics: learn what and where What content do they use the most?
  13. 13. Google Analytics: learn what and where Where do they go on your site?
  14. 14. Google Analytics can’t tell you: • Who they are • What they gained • How they felt • Why they left Use in-person methods to discover some of these insights
  15. 15. User interviews help you learn why and how
  16. 16. User interviews can tell you: • Why they use a service • How they think about things • Whether they would use a service • How they describe things Make sure you’re getting information you can act on!
  17. 17. How to do user interviews • Formulate questions that can be answered quickly • Find a place where your users hang out • Offer incentives for participation • Ask questions and record user responses • Interpret those results Share your results widely – tell your user’s story.
  18. 18. User interviews help you learn why and how What is Document Delivery? https://vimeo.com/78376929
  19. 19. Focus Groups can give you longer stories from users and conversations that can help shape the project
  20. 20. How to do focus groups • Formulate questions that will generate discussion • Find people from your target audience • Invite them in, offer incentives for participation • Ask questions and record user responses • Interpret those results You might learn something surprising!
  21. 21. Focus groups help you learn more about who, why, and how Users having a conversation about your site “What materials are you usually looking for?” “Show me what you’ve got!”
  22. 22. Use card sorting to guide your labels and structure
  23. 23. Open vs. Closed vs. Hybrid Entire website vs. section of website
  24. 24. Remote vs. in person
  25. 25. Recruit actual users.
  26. 26. Pay attention to the way they describe things.
  27. 27. Why test your website?
  28. 28. Usability testing can lead to changes that directly help your end user
  29. 29. Usability testing can tell you • Who they are • How they feel about your site • What obstacles exist • Where changes need to be made All information gathered during usability testing can be informative!
  30. 30. What and how to test
  31. 31. What and how to test Intercept Usability Testing vs. In-depth Usability Testing
  32. 32. Intercept Testing
  33. 33. Intercept Testing: Message to your users
  34. 34. What: Tasks and Scenarios Task: To learn about renewing a library book Scenario: You have a library book that is due soon. You would like to extend the due date as it is a book you are using in one of your classes. How many times can you renew the book?
  35. 35. How: Chart paths to see user drop points and success rates. User 1: Sophomore, English • Attempt 1: My Account > Sign-In > Fail • Attempt 2: Help > How do I? > FAQ > Borrowing Information > Renewals > Success!
  36. 36. Capture comments to relay at decision meetings • Could renewing be grouped under borrowing privileges? • I wouldn’t look under services for this because late fees aren’t a service.” Could you call it “fines” instead of “fees”? • I think it should say “Want something we don’t have?” or “Tell us what you need.”
  37. 37. Show your results Task Users Success (Users) % Total Attempts Success (Attempts) % 1 Find out circulation periods 6 5/6 ≈83 11 5/11 ≈45 2 Find out how to get something using ILL 5 5/5 100 5 5/5 100 3 Find information on fines, late fees, etc. 5 4/5 80 5 4/5 80 4 To learn about renewing a library book 5 4/5 80 8 4/8 50 5 Request an article 7 5/7 ≈71 10 5/10 50 6 Suggest a purchase 3 0/3 0 10 0/10 0
  38. 38. In-depth usability testing • Tests more in-depth functions • Video-tape • Duration: 30-60 minutes • Substantial reward • Test members from each target user group (undergraduate, faculty, graduate, archivist)
  39. 39. In-depth usability testing: Primary User Groups Undergraduate Student Archivist Graduate Student Faculty Member
  40. 40. In-depth Usability Testing https://vimeo.com/78200435
  41. 41. Intercept Testing • Perform intercept usability test
  42. 42. Where does user research fit in?
  43. 43. Who benefits from user research? • Designers and developers can make data-backed decisions • Content editors get familiar with how users think about their content • Project managers learn key benefits from the user’s point of view And, of course, your users benefit because your website improves.
  44. 44. What happens when you add user research to your process? • More people care about improving the website • Your knowledge builds over time and you can make better educated guesses • You stay connected with users and understand what it’s like inside their heads • You start to consider the user’s journey through your services • You’ll have data to fall back on when making decisions later in the process • A culture of user-centered thinking develops
  45. 45. Questions? Rebecca • @blakistonr • blakistonr@u.library.arizona.edu Rachel • rahawes@email.arizona.edu Ginger • @liquid06 • bidwellg@u.library.arizona.edu

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