Type

Poster

Description

This poster details the author’s experience conducting weekly “guerilla” usability tests of the Wayne State University Libraries homepage with her team in Discovery and Innovation. Academic libraries acknowledge the importance of usability testing, but the amount they do can be hindered by time or budgetary restraints. Guerilla usability testing allows academic libraries to gain valuable insights regarding website usage and functionality without conducting formal tests or focus groups: all that’s needed is a laptop with a wi-fi connection. Producing results quickly and cheaply, the sessions are short and student participants are recruited on the spot to complete a short series of scripted tasks as facilitators observe. As the author discovered through weekly tests with her team, when consistent usability problems arise it is easy to make incremental improvements. In turn, experimental changes can also be tested for effectiveness before implementation. This poster will outline recruitment techniques, script development, observation methods, assessment, and other best practices for testing. The author will also cover her own successes with weekly usability testing, and provide suggestions for institutions looking to begin similar testing programs.

Keywords

library website, usability testing

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May 12th, 11:15 AM

“Would You Like to Test Drive the New Library Website?” Implementing Guerrilla Usability Testing at Academic Libraries

Fireplace Lounge

This poster details the author’s experience conducting weekly “guerilla” usability tests of the Wayne State University Libraries homepage with her team in Discovery and Innovation. Academic libraries acknowledge the importance of usability testing, but the amount they do can be hindered by time or budgetary restraints. Guerilla usability testing allows academic libraries to gain valuable insights regarding website usage and functionality without conducting formal tests or focus groups: all that’s needed is a laptop with a wi-fi connection. Producing results quickly and cheaply, the sessions are short and student participants are recruited on the spot to complete a short series of scripted tasks as facilitators observe. As the author discovered through weekly tests with her team, when consistent usability problems arise it is easy to make incremental improvements. In turn, experimental changes can also be tested for effectiveness before implementation. This poster will outline recruitment techniques, script development, observation methods, assessment, and other best practices for testing. The author will also cover her own successes with weekly usability testing, and provide suggestions for institutions looking to begin similar testing programs.

 

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