Research Results: Library staff directory redesign

UX-3822, Redesign staff profile page template

Purpose: Assess usability and clarity of redesigned staff directory with profile pages

Stakeholders: users and staff

Testing date: 8/31/18

Participants: 5 UVA undergraduates

Methodology: “Guerrilla” testing, in which UX staff, some in tyrannosaurus Rex costume, invite students entering Clemons Library to spend 10 minutes of their time to improve a library web page. Coffee and danishes offered to all passers-by.

FINDINGS

  • Participants didn’t initially know what or who Library Subject Specialists were, but were able to grasp the concept (“for doing research, to see someone to talk to”) after spending a few moments looking at the page.
    • Structure of the Librarian Subject Specialist page is clear and effective. All could grasp that the organization was by school, then by department.
screenshot of Librarian Subject Specialist view

fig. 1, Librarian Subject Specialist view

  • However, the concept of a “library department” was confusing to participants. When shown the Department tab participants said the page was “unexpected” and that it wouldn’t be useful to them
    • Recommendation: Consider tooltips or another method to give additional description and context for Librarian Subject Specialist and Department tabs
  • The Profile pages were easily grasped and appreciated but not carefully read. Comments included:
    • “Ask Me About” should be higher up because it’s most important
    • Gender pronouns are “inclusive”
    • “What’ ORCID id?”
    • Page is “useful” and “helpful”
    • Recommendation: Put bulleted information at the top of the right column to improve ability to skim
    • Recommendation: Limit Bio and other text blocks to reduce visual clutter and increase white space

      screenshot of a library staff profile page

      fig. 2, profile page

  • Participant suggestions to make the staff directory easier to use echo the recommendation above to give additional description and context with tooltips:
    • “Need a description for Department tab”
    • “Too many tabs, too many options”
    • “Need to understand when to use Subject Specialist or Department”

Protocol

1 [Go to Staff Directory “Show All” view]
What can you do here?
Assess understanding of how and why to use the library staff directory.
2 What do you think you’ll see if you click on Image View?
[show Image View]
What are your impressions of this page?
Assess understanding of Image View.
Gather impressions.
3 What do you think you’ll see if you click on Librarian Subject Specialist?
[show Librarian Subject Specialist]
What can you tell me about how this page is organized?
Would you use it?
Assess understanding of Librarian Subject Specialist.
Gather impressions.
4 What do you think you’ll see if you click on Department?
[show Department]
What can you tell me about how this page is organized?
Would you use it?
Assess understanding of Department.
Gather impressions.
5 [Go to Profile page]
What are your impressions of this page?
What’s useful?
What’s missing?
Gather impressions of Profile page.
6 How can we make this staff directory easier to use? Evaluate overall ease in using the staff directory.

Leave a Reply