Usability Testing in a Library Web Site Redesign Project

Susan McMullen

Document Type Article


An intuitive library information gateway is critical to meeting the information needs of library users in the digital age. This article describes the process involved in redesigning a library Web site. In addition to first determining the goals and requirements for the library Web site, a user and task analysis was conducted for defining the library's user base and types of tasks which users might be performing at the site. Usability testing methods, such as observational interviews, provided fresh insights about how users are interacting with the library Web interface as they approach various information seeking tasks. These usability studies uncovered problems related to unclear terminology, proper use of color, size and location of navigational links, and the need for context sensitive help, built-in redundancy, and clear and consistent navigation.