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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.

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

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  • 1. November 2013 Simple User Research Methods the First Step to Improving Your Website UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES Ginger Bidwell • Rebecca Blakiston • Rachel Hawes
  • 2. Center for Creative Photography website
  • 3. Special Collections website
  • 4. Many other websites
  • 5. Google Analytics: a starting point
  • 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. Google Analytics: learn what and where What are my users tapping on?
  • 8. Google Analytics: learn what and where What are my users tapping on?
  • 9. Google Analytics: learn what and where Where did they come from?
  • 10. Google Analytics: learn what and where Where did they come from?
  • 11. Google Analytics: learn what and where What were users looking for?
  • 12. Google Analytics: learn what and where What content do they use the most?
  • 13. Google Analytics: learn what and where Where do they go on your site?
  • 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. User interviews help you learn why and how
  • 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. 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. User interviews help you learn why and how What is Document Delivery? https://vimeo.com/78376929
  • 19. Focus Groups can give you longer stories from users and conversations that can help shape the project
  • 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. 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. Use card sorting to guide your labels and structure
  • 23. Open vs. Closed vs. Hybrid Entire website vs. section of website
  • 24. Remote vs. in person
  • 25. Recruit actual users.
  • 26. Pay attention to the way they describe things.
  • 27. Why test your website?
  • 28. Usability testing can lead to changes that directly help your end user
  • 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. What and how to test
  • 31. What and how to test Intercept Usability Testing vs. In-depth Usability Testing
  • 32. Intercept Testing
  • 33. Intercept Testing: Message to your users
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. In-depth usability testing: Primary User Groups Undergraduate Student Archivist Graduate Student Faculty Member
  • 40. In-depth Usability Testing https://vimeo.com/78200435
  • 41. Intercept Testing • Perform intercept usability test
  • 42. Where does user research fit in?
  • 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. 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. Questions? Rebecca • @blakistonr • blakistonr@u.library.arizona.edu Rachel • rahawes@email.arizona.edu Ginger • @liquid06 • bidwellg@u.library.arizona.edu

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