Live Usability Lab ELUNA 2008: Long Beach California


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  • Start out with questions about using a product: Examples: Elevator – When you click the wrong button, you can’t undo - There’s no undo in an elevator Car – Radio is not in the “right” place for the driver. Web site – No search available and if there is one, you don’t know what it’s searching Library – You get wonderful service at the circulation desk, and then have a bad experience on reference chat. You get used to a tool like the catalog and suddenly the interface chanages Questions to the audience: Who knows what user experience is? Who knows what usability is? Stephanie & I developed this presentation to show the value of user testing in a library setting. Over the next 45 minutes, we’ll conduct an interactive user test using a method designed by Paul Marty and Michael Twindale.Marty, Paul F. and Michael Twidale, “Usability@90mph: Presenting and Evaluating a New, High-Speed Method for Demonstrating User Testing in Front of an Audience.” FirstMonday. July, 2005: Paul Marty, Assistant Professor in the College of Information @ Florida State. He assumes audience understands the value of good design. Before we get started…
  • Let’s look briefly at: The elements of user experience design is and how usability fits into this Methods for evaluating online products
  • 1. academic 2. consumer Consider your audience: at some point everyone is a first time user for academic site, think “paper on diabetes” think “just diagnosed with diabetes; want info!” Act like the User Understand the User Empower the User Every one of us has been a user of the internet – remember to put yourself in the shoes of a new user to your own site. Is it obvious where to find the search box? Is it obvious what the search box is searching? Is it the catalog, the site, some electronic databases, an archive of web news? All of these things play into what is known as the user experience.
  • To the Audience: As a student: Where would you begin your search on diabetes?
  • To the Audience: As a student: Where would you begin your search on diabetes?
  • What is user experience? Start with a scenario: A user interacts with your web site / application / product Your website supports some goal of the user – in the case of the previous example, you need to find information on a particular topic. Your library SFX tool provides access to electronic journals and articles on that topic. There’s a set of design principles that went into the application; there are features and functionality The user comes to that product with a set of expectations based on your library’s credibility and any prior knowledge that user may have about how to search online Once the user has interacted with the system, he/she will form an opinion – either positive or negative. He/she will carry that opinion around and spread it to others … The interaction the user has with this product is what is called the user experience. from wikipedia: User experience, most often abbreviated UX and sometimes UE , is a term used to describe all aspects of the user’s experience when interacting with the product, service, environment or facility. from UXnet: User Experience (abbreviated: UX) is the quality of experience a person has when interacting with a specific design. This can range from a specific artifact, such as a cup, toy or website, up to larger, integrated experiences such as a museum or an airport. In the library, we can think of the user experience as a honeycomb …
  • Peter Morville describes the user experience as a honeycomb : (Elements of the honeycomb from Peter Morville; Ideas for questions from Pete Morville: Useful – Is a Web site useful? Does the Web site provide knowledge that is useful to an end user? Usable – Is the site easy to use? Is it intuitive? Desirable – How do we relate to the Web site? Is it something that is a chore to use? Attractive tools work better First impressions count! Shnedierman article – Designing interfaces for fun! Findable – Can the user navigate effectively through the site? Can they find what they need to find? Accessible – Does the site pass accessibility standards and guidelines for users with disabilities? Credible – Can the user trust what they find on the site? In other words, is the information credible? Valuable – Is the information provided by the site valuable to the end user? Users today EXPECT a good experience (think the total experience with Apple products from the handheld device to actually going into the store to the Genius bar) Looking at user experience, we can set priorities; For example, for your library is it more important for the SFX tool to be findable and credible or usable and valuable?
  • What we’ll look at today in the live usability lab is one element of the user experience, which is usability How usable is the system? "[Usability refers to] the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use." - ISO 9241-11 From Wikipedia: Usability is a term used to denote the ease with which people can employ a particular tool or other human-made object in order to achieve a particular goal. Usability can also refer to the methods of measuring usability and the study of the principles behind an object's perceived efficiency or elegance.
  • To consider the user experience, you need a plan: Exploration & Assessment of User needs User Analysis (Google Analytics/Urchin) Personas/User Stories Contextual Inquiry Ethnographic Research Assessment Think Aloud Protocol Card Sorting Task-Based Testing Heuristic Evaluation Eye-tracking Surveys
  • Goals of usability testing Learnability : How easy is it for users to do basic tasks the first time they see the site? Efficiency : Once users have learned the design, how quickly can they perform tasks? [in that session] Memorability : When users return to the design after a period of not using it, how easily can they reestablish proficiency? Errors : How many errors do users make, how severe are these errors, and how easily can they recover from the errors? Ex: inadvertently delete large segments of document you’re writing - press UNDO key & it’s back (usually) Satisfaction : How pleasant is it to use the design? Benefits: Increased satisfaction Decreased costs (training, support, maintenance) Increased productivity Goals: Usability 101, Benefits:
  • Do usability testing early & often not trying to be empirical or comprehensive to find every possible for every possible user error That’s canned usability 101 … now on to LIVE usability lab ! Aka … usability @ 90mph
  • Assignment: write paper on diabetes: Search Medline (Scopus, EBSCO, Google Scholar, Web of Science ) Identify useful article(s) Find full-text Read article Write paper SFX goal: simplify the process of stage 3 Roy Tennant: “2 clicks to stuff” That’s our focus: step 3: simple to them, but potentially complex SFX Menu (ask what is this?)
  • Get the full-text Find it online (library has online) Find it in the catalog (library has in print) Request through Interlibrary Loan -- but only display if full-text *not* available online! Other services Get persistent URL of SFX menu (e-reserves) Export to RefWorks Get help Report a problem
  • If not available online, what do you do? check Homer – might have in print if not online DD/ILL – what does that mean?
  • As Valeda Dent of the blog designing better libraries, notes – why should we care about this? We should care because “designing better user experiences may just be the key to addressing some of the questions the profession has been asking for years. “What’s the future of reference?” “How do we integrate the digital and the physical?” “How do we design spaces our users will actually want to spend time in?” Think about UX within this context. Think about how many different help screens and directions we need for users to find and use resources on our websites. Think about all the maps and directions they need to find resources in our buildings. Then think about shifting that burden of understanding how to use something or find something away from the user . That’s the power of UX. ” The product in this case is our OPAC, our link resolver, our databases – our websites and generally our libraries What’s different between this and customer service? As Bell points out, customer service is expected. User Experience is about differentiation. Different libraries will have different user experiences. For example: “At one library the experience might be designed around total simplicity - making the library and its systems as easy to use at every possible touch point. At another library it might designed around academic success - always communicating the message that the library helps students and faculty achieve success on their terms - and delivering on it at every touch point.”
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