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ERIC Number: EJ891735
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-1932-2909
Focus Groups and Usability Testing in Redesigning an Academic Library's Web Site
Oldham, Bonnie W.
Journal of Web Librarianship, v2 n2-3 p219-246 2008
As the World Wide Web has advanced since its inception, librarians have endeavored to keep pace with this progress in the design of their library Web pages. User recommendations collected from focus groups and usability testing have indicated that the University of Scranton's Weinberg Memorial Library's Web site was not working as intended, and the library's home page, in particular, was cluttered. Focus groups indicated that the process of accessing the library's databases from off-campus took too many steps, key resources were not located in key areas of the page, links were too close together, and the font was too small. Library staff determined it was necessary to rethink and redesign its pages. Self-reports from focus groups were insufficient to get at the mechanics of Web page use. Through usability testing, librarians were able to observe students and faculty completing simple research and directional tasks. Before "going live" with the new page in January 2007, users who had participated in the focus groups and in the usability testing were surveyed about the redesigned library Web page. The users indicated that the new Web page was less confusing, easier to use, and somewhat more intuitive than the previous library Web page. Web sites are always works in progress, and academic librarians should be proactive about making changes to their library Web sites to take advantage of emerging technology and to meet user expectations. (Contains 2 tables, 3 figures and 40 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania