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Usability Testing and Design of a Library Website: An Iterative Approach
OCLC Systems and Services (2005)
  • Carole A. George, Carnegie Mellon University
Purpose. The purpose of this paper is to provide a case study of the usability studies used by the Carnegie Mellon Libraries during the redesign of their website. Methodology. The Libraries used a web-based survey to determine needs, proceeding to the prototype design, and completing the process with the final design and usability testing. During think-aloud protocols, used to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the final design, participants verbalized their thoughts as they completed a series of tasks. Findings. The results of the protocols indicated several key weaknesses with respect to navigation, screen design and labeling, leading to more revisions and the release. Testing indicated that color and graphics attract attention; font, labels, and placement increase visibility; chunking and leading with keywords increase readability; and consistency in design increases usability. Practical implications. This paper describes several methods of gathering feedback during website design or usability testing with an emphasis on think-aloud protocols. Value. The techniques used here may be useful to others who are approaching the design and usability testing of their own sites and interested in creating a user-centered design.
  • think aloud protocols,
  • evaluation,
  • usability testing,
  • survey,
  • website design
Publication Date
Citation Information
Carole A. George. "Usability Testing and Design of a Library Website: An Iterative Approach" OCLC Systems and Services Vol. 21 Iss. 3 (2005)
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