Usability Study of a Library's Mobile Website: An Example from Portland State University
To discover how a newly developed library mobile website performed across a variety of devices, the authors used a hybrid field and laboratory methodology to conduct a usability test of the website. Twelve student participants were recruited and selected according to phone type. Results revealed a wide array of errors attributed to site design, wireless network connections, as well as phone hardware and software. This study provides an example methodology for testing library mobile websites, identifies issues associated with mobile websites, and provides recommendations for improving the user experience.
Billi et al. “A Unified Methodology for the Evaluation of Accessibility and Usability of Mobile Applications.” Universal Access in the Information Society 9, no. 4 (2010): 337-356. doi:10.1007/s10209-009-0180-1.
Bridges, Laurie M., Hannah Gascho Rempel, and Kim Griggs. “Making the Case for a Fully Mobile Library Web Site: From Floor Maps to the Catalog.” Reference Services Review 38, no. 2 (2010): 309-320. doi:10.1108/00907321011045061.
Coursaris, Constantinos K. and Dan J. Kim. “A Qualitative Review of Empirical Mobile Usability Studies” (presentation, Twelfth Americas Conference on Information Systems, Acapulco, Mexico, August 4–6, 2006). http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.83.4082&rep=rep1&type=pdf (accessed Sept. 7, 2011).
George, Carole A. User-Centered Library Web Sites: Usability Evaluation Methods (Cambridge: Chandos, 2008).
Griggs, Kim, Laurie M. Bridges, and Hannah Gascho Rempel. “library/mobile: Tips on Designing and Developing Mobile Web Sites.” Code4Lib Journal no. 8 (2009). Under “Content Adaptation Techniques.” http://journal.code4lib.org/articles/2055 (accessed Sept. 7th, 2011).
Hegarty, Ronan and Judith Wusteman. “Evaluating EBSCOhost Mobile.” Library Hi Tech 29, no. 2 (2011): 320–333. doi:10.1108/07378831111138198.
Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki. “M-Libraries: Libraries Offering Mobile Interfaces or Applications.” http://libsuccess.org/index.php?title=M-Libraries (accessed Sept. 7, 2011).
Loizides, Fernando and George Buchanan. “Performing Document Triage on Small Screen Devices. Part 1: Structured Documents.” in IIiX ’10: Proceeding of the Third Symposium on Information Interaction in Context, edited by Nicholas J. Belkin and Diane Kelly (New York: ACM, 2010). 341-346. doi:10.1145/1840784.1840836.
Nielsen, Jakob. “Mobile Usability.” Alertbox (blog). September 26, 2011. http://www.useit.com/alertbox/mobile-usability.html (accessed Sept. 28, 2011).
Rubin, Jeffrey and Dana Chisnell. Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests. 2nd ed. (Indianapolis, IN: Wiley, 2008).
Seeholzer, Jamie and Joseph A. Salem, Jr. “Library on the Go: A Focus Group Study of the Mobile Web and the Academic Library.” College & Research Libraries 72, no. 1 (2011): 9-20.
Smith, Aaron. “35% of American Adults Own a Smartphone: One Quarter of Smartphone Owners Use Their Phone for Most of Their Online Browsing.” Pew Research Center, 2011. http://pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2011/PIP_Smartphones.pdf (accessed Oct. 13, 2011).
Smith, Shannon D. and Judith B. Caruso. The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2010. EDUCAUSE, 2010. http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERS1006/RS/ERS1006W.pdf (accessed Sept. 12, 2011).
Smith, Shannon D., Gail Salaway, and Judith B. Caruso. The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2009. EDUCAUSE, 2009. http://www.educause.edu/Resources/TheECARStudyofUndergraduateStu/187215 (accessed Sept. 12, 2011).
Wu, Robert C., M. Scott Orr, Mark Chignell, and Sharon E. Straus. “Usability of a Mobile Electronic Medical Record Prototype: A Verbal Protocol Analysis.” Informatics for Health & Social Care 33, no. 2 (2008): 139–149. doi:10.1080/17538150802127223.
Zhang, Dongsong and Boonlit Adipat. “Challenges, Methodologies, and Issues in the Usability Testing of Mobile Applications.” International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 18, no. 3 (2005): 293-308. doi:10.1207/s15327590ijhc1803_3.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors that submit to Information Technology and Libraries agree to the Copyright Notice.