"Live Web Usability Lab," CASL 2008


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co-presenting with iCONN's Steve Cauffman and ECSU's Carol Abetelli at the Connecticut Association of School Librarians on November 10, 2008

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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? Steve and Carol and I developed this presentation to show the value of usability testing and how important it is to good design. this is designed to get YOU (the librarians) thinking about how web sites appear to novices. Our expertise is in getting people to think differently about web sites, and not in working with elementary / secondary school children -- we trust that the YOU will be able to translate our ideas about usability and how people interact with web sites into how YOUR patrons might interact with YOUR web sites ... We’re here to explain the method of doing testing to get at how people see web sites. “… only a small amount of time is necessary to demonstrate … that the best way to evaluate an interface for usability is to test that interface with representative users .”
  • "Live Web Usability Lab," CASL 2008

    1. 1. Live Web Usability Lab CASL, November 10, 2008 <ul><li>Stephanie Willen Brown University of Connecticut </li></ul><ul><li>Steve Cauffman iCONN </li></ul><ul><li>Carol Abatelli Eastern Connecticut State University </li></ul>
    2. 3. Act Like a User: Find a Book in Spanish <ul><li>Two questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s the first thing you see? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where can you find books in Spanish (for your age patron)? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Site 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Site 2 </li></ul>
    3. 6. What *is* Usability? <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Jakob Nielsen, Usability 101 </li></ul>
    4. 7. Components of Usability <ul><li>Goals </li></ul><ul><li>Learnability </li></ul><ul><li>Efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Memorability </li></ul><ul><li>Error recovery </li></ul><ul><li>Satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>Achieved by … </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking like a user </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Tweaking text </li></ul>
    5. 8. Thinking Like a User <ul><li>“… 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.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Peter Morville, Ambient Findability </li></ul>
    6. 9. Consistency <ul><li>Color, graphics </li></ul><ul><li>Orientation & navigation </li></ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul>
    7. 10. Reading Online is Like ?? <ul><li>Reading Proust </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People like to read long sentences online because it’s easy to keep your place, follow complex trains of thought, and flip to the next screen of dense text. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>or </li></ul><ul><li>Skimming citations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Skim titles & abstracts for keywords </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take notes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Move to the next citation </li></ul></ul>
    8. 11. Jargon for Librarians <ul><li>On travelocity, you need the cheapest round-trip ticket from Boston to London. </li></ul><ul><li>These are your options – which is right? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flights & Prices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fares </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 Best Itineraries </li></ul></ul>
    9. 12. How We Will Test Facilitator Note-taker 2 Note-taker 1 Participant @ computer
    10. 13. Volunteer Required <ul><li>Someone who hasn’t used …? </li></ul><ul><li>Willing to use site to answer “typical” questions in front of your peers?! </li></ul><ul><li>Carol will explain the usability testing process to the volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>Steve will </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe the database </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review the test questions </li></ul></ul>
    11. 15. Usability Test Questions: Kids Info Bits <ul><li>Can you find an image of the flag of Brazil? </li></ul><ul><li>What is a dinosaur? </li></ul><ul><li>Find some information about the new food pyramid which explains what foods are healthiest to eat </li></ul>
    12. 16. Usability Test Questions: Student Research Center <ul><li>You really like airplanes and enjoy seeing photos of planes. Can you find images of the Wright Brothers and their first flight? </li></ul><ul><li>For a class in career development, you need to find information about a job that you might want. You always wanted to be an astronaut ... can you find information about being an astronaut? </li></ul><ul><li>For a science paper, you need to write about global warming from a variety of perspectives. Can you find information about global warming? </li></ul>
    13. 17. For More Information <ul><li>Recommended articles about usability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://gslis.simmons.edu/mw/browns/Usability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SlideShare of this PowerPoint </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.slideshare.net/CogSciLibrarian/live-web-usability-lab-casl-2008-presentation/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Student Research Center is available @ iCONN.org </li></ul>
    14. 18. Questions? Keep in Touch <ul><li>Stephanie Willen Brown, electronic resources librarian, University of Connecticut [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Steve Cauffman, reQuest ILL coordinator, iCONN … [email_address] .org </li></ul><ul><li>Carol Abatelli, head of collections & electronic resource management, Eastern Connecticut State University [email_address] </li></ul>