U-M Library’s Library Search launched in 2018 as a unified search engine application containing five previously distinct interfaces: Catalog, Articles, Databases, Online Journals, and Library Websites. Library Search was a big change for users, and an increase in user support requests suggested that further exploration was needed to pinpoint user pain points. The authors began an exploratory study that helped understand users’ experiences and identified areas for continued work.
Posts tagged "Usability"
from Tiny Studies
The first post ("Personas: A Classic User Experience Design Technique") in this 2-part series described what personas are and, generally, how to create them. I closed with some cautions about ways personas might come out less than helpful – creating flat, overloaded, or fake (unresearched) personas. The second post presents our persona development for a specific website project.
Not everything a library wants to know is available via web-scale analytics tools such as Google Analytics. Often, custom instrumentation and logging are the best way to answer usability and analytics questions, and can offer better protections for patron privacy as well.
It’s not uncommon for academic research libraries, especially large ones, to have multiple renovations that add a wing, a floor, or even a new building. The University of Michigan Library buildings on our central campus are no exception. Our undergraduate and graduate libraries form a complex whose structure is just that. Many times a day, staff members direct visitors, patrons, or even a colleague to their intended destination.
The words we choose matter and having a shared vocabulary around user experience research is an important component of the work. This post presents definitions of user experience, user research, and usability testing, while examining how they intersect and why determining the frame of your research is good practice. Plus the one phrase we try not to use...