NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ891739
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 35
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1932-2909
Developing a Standardized List of Questions for the Usability Testing of an Academic Library Web Site
Letnikova, Galina
Journal of Web Librarianship, v2 n2-3 p381-415 2008
Modern academic libraries have a great number of information resources available online in the form of electronic catalogs, books, journals, and subject subscription databases. To determine whether users can easily retrieve the information they are seeking, academic librarians conduct usability testing of their libraries' Web sites. There has been an emergence of publications focusing on the usability testing of academic library Web sites. However, researchers frequently report problems and limitations related to this testing, assuming that the wrong wording of questions or tasks during the testing disorients test participants, especially those not familiar with the basics of library research. This study investigates the possibility of increasing the accuracy level of the usability testing of an academic library Web site by developing a standardized list of questions for usability testing that would be based on main functions of an academic library Web site and be designed to meet the general information needs of college students and faculty with different levels of the information literacy skills. The data presented in this article was collected from 22 case studies published by librarians in academic libraries of the United States and Canada between 1999 and 2004. The author discusses the common questions and tasks asked by the researchers during usability tests of different academic libraries' Web sites. Their relationship to the essential functions of an academic library Web site is examined, and the determination is made whether these questions and tasks would be appropriate to form one list of standardized questions for the general usability study of an academic library Web site. In the course of this article, the author scrutinizes usability questions and tasks described in the case studies cited, organizes them into categories, and proposes a list of standardized questions for an academic library Web site usability study. (Contains 1 table and 41 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 - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States