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Website User Studies

 

 

Future studies:

The Drexel University Libraries are working on updating the Libraries website.  We are always looking for participants.  If you'd like to be contacted for future studies, please submit your email address for our participants list.

 

Previous studies:

June 2013

Online Study:

A study asked users to find the link to reserve a group study room. We were glad to see that 59% of participants found the link to the reservation system. There is room for improving accessibility for the 30% who did not find the link.

We presented a few redesign options featuring a Reserve a Group Study Room button. The option below was the most popular.

In-person study:

We want the terminology on the website to align with students’ expectations. We asked students what they would title some of the pages we refer to as Research Guides. Below is a snapshot of their responses.

May 2013:  

Online Study:

A study asked users to find information about the library’s renewal policy. Almost 47% of the 250 people who completed the study reported that they had difficulty finding the information, or did not find it at all. This is an opportunity to review the website’s information architecture and improve usability.

In-person studies:

Task Completion:

We used Camtasia to record five participants’ comments and interactions with the library website while they completed 12 tasks. While each of the students successfully completed the majority of the tasks, we discovered opportunities for improvement. Results summarized below include whether or not the participant successfully completed the task and the average number of clicks it took to do so.

Card Sorting

This study explored ideas about information architecture. Participants examined 40 cards representing pages on the website, grouping them based on their familiarity with those pages or services. After the initial sorting process, the participants created thematic groupings from familiar cards. Common themes included tools for doing research, personalization, and visiting the library.

The chart below displays responses indicating that 4 out of 5 participants knew or did not know a particular resource. These responses lend insight into popular services as well as opportunities to clarify terminology and promote library resources.

April 2013

We want to improve navigation on our website. A study in April asked users to to find a tutorial on the website.

 

  • Of the 78 people who completed the study, only 31 found the requested tutorial.
  • Several people commented that they expected to find the tutorials under “Research.”
  • Findings indicated that people tended to have more success with the website search bar than the navigational buttons. 

February 2013

We ran a study to learn about how our website is used to find articles. A few findings are listed below.

  • When prompted to "find an article" on a given topic, participants used Summon to find the article.
  • Once in Summon, participants used the "Journal Article" facet to limit to journal articles. 
  • When prompted to locate the database "Proquest Research Library" most participants navigated to the database tab, but a smaller portion searched in Summon for the database name.

January 2013

We launched a study to learn about why people visit our website.   Here's a snapshot of the results:

Some of the "other" reasons listed for coming to the Libraries Website were:

  • Reserve a study room
  • Check status of ILL request
  • Use EZ-Borrow
  • Because it's the home page on the library computers
  • Search for ebooks
  • Find information about a library location
  • Find Course Reserves information/textbooks

 

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