If you are involved with managing a library website or social media, usability studies should be vitally important to you. My library has conducted several usability tests over the past decade, which provided input for major website redesigns. I thought it might be useful for those new to usability testing to post my library’s documentation for our most recent usability study, MVCC Library Usability Study Documents. If you follow this link, you will find a PDF that includes:
- Study Goals
- Procedure Outline
- Testing the Test
- Test Materials
- Web sites Reviewed
- Participant Forms
- Moderator Script
- Study Questions
I always approach usability testing as an idea-generating mechanism. It follows a qualitative approach that (hopefully) provides insight into how visitors interpret a website. I have written about this in several places including chapter 6 of my recent book and on this blog back in May of 2011, Seduced by Google – A TTW Guest Post by Dr. Troy Swanson.
For additional information about usabilty studies take a look at this post from Stephen Abram, Stephen’s Lighthouse: “18 Usability Resources for Librarians”.
Troy A. Swanson is Department Chair and Teaching & Learning Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College. He is the author of the book, Managing Social Media in Libraries. You can follow him on Twitter at @t_swanson.