Research Results: Perform and assess a guerrilla test on new home page

Project Details

  • User Experience Project ID: UX-1372, Perform and assess a guerrilla test
  • Purpose: Assess usability of the new home page design
  • Stakeholders: UX team
  • Test date: 8/25/16
  • Test participants:
    • 5 undergraduates
    • 1 faculty
  • Methodology: “Guerrilla” testing, in which we approached students entering Clemons Library and asked for 10 minutes of their time in exchange for a candy bar or banana. Testers were asked for first impressions and to rank the three most important links or areas on the newly-designed page. Testers were also asked to complete seven tasks on both laptop and mobile versions, and then were asked to rank the ease with which they completed those tasks.


  • Initial impressions from four testers were that the page is “easy to navigate” and “organized.” One tester who had already used the page was “frustrated by it, can’t find anything.” Other comments: like the photo banner, like the prominence of the hours and Ask A Librarian on the banner.
  • Most important links were varied: Research had three votes; two votes each for Hours, Ask A Librarian, Services, and Find Study Spaces; and one vote each for Virgo, Events, Reserve a Room, and Printers and Photocopiers.
  • When asked to find the hours of a digital media lab, four testers correctly used the Hours dropdown menu in the sticky header or the “View All Hours” link. Two navigated to the “Digital Labs” link under Services so eventually found the correct information, but with some difficulty.
  • Most testers were familiar with Ask A Librarian as a way to get help finding an article. AAL was found in the sticky header, the banner, and the footer.
  • When asked to book a room for a study group, three selected the “Reserve a Room” link under Spaces. Two navigated to Services, then to “Reserve and Rent a Room”. One tester said he always finds the link by Googling “Book It”.
  • Finding an event that occurs next month in Brown library was difficult for four testers, but three eventually found it. One gave up. Two tried to use the search box by typing in Brown, which apparently does not search location, so they were not successful using that method. Most testers easily found and used the >> on the calendar to bring up the next month; and half used the library filter to find events in Brown.
  • When asked to find expert help in Sociology, three testers went to Ask A Librarian. One found the Consultations heading on the Services page, and one thought maybe he’d use the staff directory, but commented, “I wouldn’t know why I would be on this [library] site for a sociology expert.” None of the testers found the “Subject Liaisons” link under Services.
  • Other impressions of new design: two commented that they liked the blue; and the design was called “nice,” “easy to navigate,” “self-explanatory,” and “modern.” One tester’s impression was “not favorable” because he finds it similar to the new UVA home page design that “benefits outsiders.”
  • On the mobile design, 4/6 testers found the hamburger menu and used it to find About.
  • On the mobile design, 5/6 testers were successful in scrolling to find a recent announcement under News.
  • On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being very easy, 5/6 testers rated their ease in completing these tasks as 4 or 5.


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