Usability for iCONN


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Discussing usability & the user experience in the context of library databases.

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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? Go to & bookmark tab
  • Usability for iCONN

    1. 1. Usability, User Experience, & Library Databases Stephanie Willen Brown Electronic Resources Librarian University of Connecticut [email_address] 860.486.4855
    2. 3. Act Like a User: Find Information about Diabetes <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 get information on diabetes? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Site 1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Site 2 </li></ul></ul>
    3. 4.
    4. 5.
    5. 6. Today <ul><li>Define UX, usability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why do they matter? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discuss elements of UX as they affect web sites </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sample patron interaction </li></ul><ul><li>UConn’s usability test </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Results </li></ul></ul>
    6. 7. Why Should We Care About UX? <ul><ul><li>“ 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.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paraphrased from Garrett, J.J. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Customer Loyalty and the Elements of User Experience” </li></ul></ul>
    7. 8. The Elements of User Experience <ul><ul><li>Peter Morville, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ambient Findability </li></ul></ul>
    8. 9. 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>Jakob Nielsen, Usability 101
    9. 10. Components of Good Design <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>
    10. 11. How to Achieve Good Design <ul><li>Think like a user </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent design </li></ul><ul><li>Tweak text </li></ul>
    11. 12. Consistency <ul><li>Color, graphics </li></ul><ul><li>Orientation & navigation </li></ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul>
    12. 13. Jargon to Library Users <ul><li>“ E RIC, I think it ’s some kind of journal … some kind of citation. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Reference Shelf “[It’s] very general. You don’t know what to expect as it could be anything.” </li></ul>
    13. 14. Jargon for Travelers <ul><li>You need the cheapest round-trip ticket from Boston to London. </li></ul><ul><li>You go to </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>
    14. 15. How Identify Site Problems? <ul><li>Objectively evaluate site </li></ul><ul><li>Focus group of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current / typical users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-users! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Surveys of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current / typical users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-users! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Usability studies </li></ul>
    15. 16. Focus Groups vs. Usability Testing <ul><li>UConn usability testing, first round </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patrons couldn’t navigate, find what they needed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Objectively: disastrous </li></ul></ul><ul><li>BUT: In response to question “Rate this site, 1-5  s” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Testers rated     to      </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In response to question “would you recommend this to a friend?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Testers said yes </li></ul></ul>
    16. 17. Usability Testing <ul><li>Define users </li></ul><ul><li>Create tasks to mimic what users would realistically do on site </li></ul><ul><li>Do usability testing early & often </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3-5 users highlights 85% of errors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better to test several small groups than 10-15 at once </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Note errors, redesign and retest </li></ul>
    17. 18. Suggested Usability Setup Facilitator Participant @ computer Note-taker 2 Note-taker 1
    18. 19. Scenarios: Volunteer Requested <ul><li>Someone who hasn’t used EBSCO’s Student Research Center </li></ul><ul><li>Willing to answer “typical” questions in front of database committee </li></ul><ul><ul><li>While volunteer attempts to perform task, </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Audience: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Note the first thing you see </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note problems encountered by volunteer </li></ul></ul>
    19. 21. 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>You have to research Martin Luther King, Jr. for a Black History Month project. Can you find some information about him? </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 that career? </li></ul>
    20. 22. Audience Reaction to Test <ul><li>Thoughts about database </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What did you notice first? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What problems were encountered? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thoughts about test process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What surprised you? </li></ul></ul>
    21. 23. UConn’s Database Locator
    22. 24. UConn’s Redesign Goals <ul><li>Database usage statistics outweighs f2f library-user contact in 2006: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>f2f contact with patrons: 55,629 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Database sessions: 470,327 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>UConn Libraries Plan 2010 “Scholar’s Portal: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Provide immediate, unmediated , and comprehensive access to digitized research and scholarly collections worldwide.” </li></ul></ul>
    23. 25. Usage Log Analysis <ul><li>March - May 2006, UConn patrons … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used the subject browse 18,000 times. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performed a keyword search 15,800 times; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clicked on Databases by Title 6,600 times; </li></ul></ul>
    24. 26. Query Log Analysis <ul><li>Databases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>america history and life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lexus nexus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>infotrack </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subjects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>pharmacy medicine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>anthropologyu </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Topics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>hamlet insane </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>adopted children of same sex couples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ why doesn’t the us have a eurpean-style welfate state?” </li></ul></ul>
    25. 27. Terms Used in DC PL OPAC DC PL data;
    26. 28. Usability Testing: 3 Rounds <ul><li>Who? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3 undergraduates, 1 grad, 1 faculty in each </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Storrs & regional campuses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First tested old system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Major redesign </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tested redesign </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tweaked design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tested again </li></ul></ul>
    27. 29. Usability Tasks <ul><li>Find articles about diabetes for your nursing class </li></ul><ul><li>Your professor said “use a database named ERIC” </li></ul><ul><li>Find a newspaper article from the day you were born </li></ul><ul><li>… plus 6 more … </li></ul>
    28. 30. Diabetes Article, I diabetes
    29. 31. Diabetes Article, II
    30. 33. What We Did <ul><li>Removed search box </li></ul><ul><li>Created topical arrangement that students would expect (UConn major) </li></ul><ul><li>Limited to 5 databases per page (Best Bets) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sorted by relevance: 1 st database would be good enough in most cases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offered more databases if they clicked on “more” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best bets marked on the longer database page </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Shortened written descriptions </li></ul>
    31. 34.
    32. 35. Best Bets in Library Science
    33. 36. UConn’s Database Descriptions, I <ul><li>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. </li></ul>
    34. 37. Database Description, Essential Info <ul><li>ABI/Inform Global </li></ul><ul><li>ABI/Inform Global </li></ul><ul><li>Full-text articles </li></ul><ul><li>from 1800 journals </li></ul><ul><li>covering business, finance, management </li></ul><ul><li>and related functional areas. </li></ul><ul><li>ABI/INFORM Global </li></ul><ul><li>indexes </li></ul><ul><li>a total of 2700 major publications. </li></ul><ul><li>Subject coverage includes: </li></ul><ul><li>Business and management, including all functional areas. </li></ul>
    35. 38. UConn’s Database Description, II <ul><li>ABI/INFORM Global </li></ul><ul><li>Articles in business, finance, management, accounting, advertising, banking, insurance, marketing, public administration, real estate, and telecommunications. 1991-current (fulltext); 1971-current (index & abstracts). </li></ul>
    36. 39. Final Round of Testing
    37. 40. Tech Notes <ul><li>RDL is public view of data elements from “home-grown” electronic resource management system (ERM) </li></ul><ul><li>ERM written in </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PHP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MySQL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some javascript  Ajax </li></ul></ul>
    38. 41. UConn Redesign Team <ul><li>Stephanie Willen Brown , electronic resource librarian & liaison to Communication Sciences </li></ul><ul><li>Susanna Cowan , undergraduate education & outreach librarian </li></ul><ul><li>Kate Fuller , reference collection maintenance coordinator and / administrative assistant </li></ul><ul><li>Jill Livingston , reference librarian/liaison to the school of allied health </li></ul><ul><li>Tom Wood , applications developer </li></ul><ul><li>Co-authors: “Making Unmediated Access to E-Resources a Reality: Creating a Usable ERM Interface,” Reference and User Services Quarterly, Spring 2009 </li></ul>
    39. 42. For More Information <ul><li>Recommended articles about usability testing </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep in touch! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stephanie Willen Brown </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IM: CogSciLibrarian </li></ul></ul>