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RIO Meeting Spring 2017 -- LibGuides Spring Cleaning: LibGuides UX Testing


The LibGuides UX Toolkit can be found here:

Research questions:

Given a scenario, can a user find an appropriate LibGuide, such as a subject guide?
Once they locate a guide, can users find journal articles?
Once they locate a guide, can users find books?
What general layout improvements could be made to LibGuides to improve the user experience, including organization of the layout and content to include or exclude?


Things to observe:

While the study is being conducted, researchers will be observing these things as additional research questions:

Do users scroll?
Where do they search?
Can the user use tabs to navigate the guide?
If the user has a question about the task, what will they do? Will they/can they find contact information for a librarian?



Task 1: English Class
For the purposes of this task, pretend you are enrolled in an English class. You need to write a paper and you’ve chosen the topic of Jane Austen (an 18th century English novelist). Can you find a LibGuide that will help you find material about this topic?

Once you’ve located a guide, please take a look around the guide and explain to me what pieces of the guide appear to be helpful to complete this task, and which pieces wouldn’t be. What pieces of the guide do you not understand?

Once you have finished surveying the guide, please use the resources listed to find a journal article on Jane Austen or her work.

Next, please find a book on Jane Austen or her work. Ideally the article and book would be available to you if you were a student at this college.  

Do you have any comments about this task?


Task 2: Image evaluation
I am going to give you several pages of images of LibGuides. Please cross out things that you don’t like/don’t understand/wouldn’t use, and circle the parts of the guide that stand out to you.  

If there is a list of links or resources such as databases, please circle the ones you would use and cross out the ones you would not use. Based on the wording or design, what do you expect to find when you click each one?

Do you have any comments about this task?

Results, based on 8 participants:

Research Questions:

67% of students found an appropriate guide for their research scenario

70% of students found an article and a book for their research scenario

Secondary Observations:

100% of students scrolled

100% of students used a search box, but only 54% used the appropriate search box or search terms.

At least 50% used the LibGuides search box to search for their topic.

50% of students used tabs to navigate the guides.

Only 22% of students found a way to contact a librarian.


Student feedback:

Answer choices:
Library Website
Library Search Box
Reference Librarian
Library Databases (ie: ATLA, Academic Search Premier)|
Interlibrary Loan
None - I use other resources to complete my research