Testing for Transition
Evaluating the Usability of Research Guides Around a Platform Migration
This article describes multiple stages of usability testing that were conducted before and after a large research library’s transition to a new platform for its research guides. A large interdepartmental team sought user feedback on the design, content, and organization of the guide homepage, as well as on individual subject guides. This information was collected using an open-card-sort study, two face-to-face, think-aloud testing protocols, and an online survey. Significant findings include that users need clear directions and titles that incorporate familiar terminology, do not readily understand the purpose of guides, and are easily overwhelmed by excess information, and that many of librarians’ assumptions about the use of library resources may be mistaken. This study will be of value to other library workers seeking insight into user needs and behaviors around online resources.
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