About the Project
Project Overview: Tests conducted from March 2007 - May 2010 by various groups.
Methodologies: Informal "Guerilla" User Testing, Paper Prototyping, Formal Tests, Surveys, Card Sorting
The University Library Gateway is the main portal for all of the University Library websites. The reports listed here reflect user tests for services used across the Gateway.
New Gateway Design - Paper Mockup Test (March 2007)
The goal of this test was to determine user opinions of section labels, their ordering, and the Ask Us service.
Link to Delivery Services - Guerilla Test (March 2007)
The goal for this test was to determine link’s label terminology that best fits the user’s understanding of the service in preparation of renaming the link’s label.
Ask Us Service - Guerilla Test (April 2007)
The goal for this test was to determine if users notice the main Ask Us bubble graphic and current use of the Ask Us services and IM in general.
Link to Delivery Services (#2) - Guerilla Test (May 2007)
The goal for this follow-up test was to determine, from a pool of three choices, which alternate label terminology for the current “Get Books, Articles, and More” link best fits the user’s understanding of the delivery services page that follows.
Ask Us Service (#2) - Guerilla Test (August 2007)
This was a followup test following changes made as a result of the previous Ask Us Service Guerilla test from April 2007 (see above). First, we wanted to compare two prototype icons that had different ways of displaying “email, chat, phone”. Second, we wanted to get feedback about how to make the icon more noticeable.
ILL, 7-FAST, MITS Services - Formal Tests (August 2007)
The goal for this test was to explore usability issues of new prototypes of the three delivery services and develop recommendations to help delivery services enhance learnability and usability.
Ask Us - Comparison of Label Terminology and Graphics (October 2007)
The goal for this study was to conduct a simple comparison of how some other libraries link to their electronic reference services to inform & inspire changes for the MLibrary gateway.
Gateway Navigation Menu - Guerilla Test (October 2007)
The goal of this test was to determine if users understood the functionality and menu items of the global navigation menu on the Gateway.
Library Web Survey - Survey (October 2007)
This survey, a broad overview of how our library’s users view the web site and the tools we offer, provides the Web Team with a starting point for conducting focus groups and usability studies. It was not designed to answer specific questions; rather, it was intended to identify areas for improving web-based services to the library’s users.
Library Outages Page - Initial Study (February 2008)
The Library Outages web page lists the status of current problems with online resources. The overall goal of this project is to make the Library Outages page easier for patrons to find and easier to use once found. This report is an informal evaluation of the outages page and a comparative analysis of other how other library's communicate their outage information.
Library Outages Page - Informal "Guerilla" Test, round 1 (February 2008)
The Library Outages web page lists the status of current problems with online resources. The overall goal of this project is to make the Library Outages page easier for patrons to find and easier to use once found. This study aimed to test how easy the outages page is to find using it's current link label "library outages" and also determine possible label alternatives.
Library Outages Page - Informal "Guerilla" Test, round 2 (February 2008)
The Library Outages web page lists the status of current problems with online resources. The overall goal of this project is to make the Library Outages page easier for patrons to find and easier to use once found. This study uses findings from the previous round 1 guerilla test to determine if the outages page is more findable using terms suggested.
Ask Us - Survey (April 2008)
The goal of this survey was to offer users the opportunity to select a graphic to represent the Ask Us reference service from a variety of options (as determined by a review of how other libraries represent this service). Specifically, we wanted to learn if users prefer Ask Us or Ask a Librarian and if they prefer text to describe the methods for contacting a librarian, icons to describe the methods for contacting a librarian, or neither text nor icons.
Instruction Request Form - User Test (June 2009)
The Instruction Menu allows faculty and Graduate Student Instructors to request library instruction sessions and to tailor those sessions to their particular needs. The goals for this test were to determine whether the form provides users the information they need/want and if the design is navigable and the terminology is clear.
Mobile Survey Report - Survey (December 2009)
This survey was designed and administered by the MLibrary Mobile Devices Working Group: Karen Reiman-Sendi (chair), Anne Beaubien, Suzanne Chapman, Kathleen Folger, and Gary Munce. The survey was intended to supplement national survey data about mobile use with actual responses from MLibrary patrons.
Search/Browse - Informal "Guerilla" Test (December 2009)
The gateway provides options for users to search or browse the content of the site. The results pages for these features sort resources into different sections by type. The goal for this test was to determine the order of the headings on the search results page and the browse results page.
Quick Links Section - Informal "Guerilla" Test (December 2009)
The gateway includes a group of links on the bottom (footer) of each page called “Quick Links.” These links are meant to provide convenient access to some of the most frequently used and/or most requested links related to both library and university business. The goals of this test were to determine if the labels for both the group and each link within the group were clear, and whether the links included in this grouping were what users want and need.
Services/Departments/Libraries Organization - Card Sorting (May 2010)
The goal for these tests was to determine how users categorized a sample of pages currently grouped under Services, Departments and Libraries on the Library Gateway to see if there might be better ways to group and label these items.
Library Gateway - Participatory Design (May 2010)
The primary purpose of this exercise was to gain a better understanding of which tools and sections of the library website's home page the participants found most and least useful.