Research Results: Remote testing on home page prototype

User Experience Project ID UX-1687: Create, Launch, and Evaluate Online Test

  • Purpose: Assess new home page design by non-UVA users
  • Stakeholders: UX team
  • Test date: 12/7/16
  • Test participants: 3 online testers in the United States, age 18+, each using a desktop or laptop computer
  • Methodology: I received three credits to run a remote test with I wrote the test (see project files) and typed it into the online form. I was able to designate what device I wanted testers to use (desktop, smartphone, tablet), plus choose the testers’ country (UK, US, France, Germany, Netherlands), age range, and socioeconomic status. Testers were asked to view
    Prototype screen (partial)

    Prototype screen (partial)

    ototype/ and use it to complete six tasks and rate their ease at completing each task. Testers were also asked for their opinions about the site. The testers used screen cast software which recorded their voice and keystrokes, and they were told to think out loud as they worked through the test. Links to the resulting .mp4 files and a summary of the test were made available for download.


  • 3/3 testers had trouble locating subject specialist help from a Virgo screen. After a minute of clicking and scrolling 2/3 testers found the answer.
  • From the Library Hours page 2/3 testers clicked on Collections when asked to look for a book, possibly because there is no search box on the Hours page (see fig. 1). One tester used the search box at the top of the Collections page to search Virgo, and the second tester used a Virgo link under the heading, “Ways to Explore” on the Collections page (see fig. 2). The third tester used his browser back button until he found a search box on a library page. All testers were able to successfully complete the task.
Figure 1 Library Hours page

Figure 1 Library Hours page

Figure 2 Library Collections page

Figure 2 Library Collections page

  • 3/3 testers had some difficulty finding a library lab with reservable space, although each was eventually successful (in different ways). The first tester went to Reserve a Room under Spaces and Equipment, then clicked on Group Study Rooms (a link to the booking software). The second tester also selected Reserve a Room (but via the Services page). She scanned for the term “lab” but went back to the Services page when she didn’t find it. She then clicked on Digital Labs, Study Space Info, and again on Digital Labs before finding text about reserving rooms within the Scholars Lab. The third tester also went into Reserve a Room under Spaces and Equipment, then backed out to the main page and selected Explore Libraries and Labs, where he found text about reservable rooms in the Library Data Commons@Curry. It is reassuring that each tester found the answer, and it supports that we need to maintain some reciprocal links and different navigational paths.
  • All testers began new tasks without navigating back to the main page, which reinforces the need for good navigation and design from every page.
  • One tester confessed to being a retired librarian, so was quite familiar with terminology like “online catalog” and “journal finder”. Not my intended audience!

Project files: WhatUsersDo_Report

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