LibGuides Usability Testing: Customizing a Product to Work for Your Users
Ward, Jennifer L.
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After moving subject and class research guides from static html pages to Springshare’s LibGuides system, the University of Washington Libraries investigated how these guides and their built-in features were being understood and used our by students. This paper will describe usability testing that was conducted on our LibGuides subject guides in the fall of 2009 and how we used test findings to develop a new set of guidelines for guide authors to use in developing guides. We will cover the usability testing process, methodology and findings, as well as how data was remodeled into new recommendations for library staff authoring our LibGuides in order to make them more consistent and usable. We present how usability can improve a library’s own understanding of students’ search and navigation process, as well as how an outside vendor's system can be customized to create an improved user experience overall.