Magazine article Online

Usability Testing for Library Web Sites: A Hands-On Guide. (Recommended Reading on Innovation, Usability, Strategies, and Resources)

Magazine article Online

Usability Testing for Library Web Sites: A Hands-On Guide. (Recommended Reading on Innovation, Usability, Strategies, and Resources)

Article excerpt

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Usability Testing for Library Web Sites: A Hands-on Guide

by Elaina Norlin and CM! Winters

ISBN: 0-8389-3511-7

Published: 2001

Pages: 69 pp.; softcover

Price: $32

Available from: ALA Editions, American Library Association, 155 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60606-1719; 800/545-2433; www.ala.org/editions.

Most libraries collect all kinds of statistics on the number of users and the pages accessed on their Web sites, but never bother to check that the users are actually finding the information they seek. With this short and simple guide, put together by librarians from the University of Arizona and the University of Illinois at Chicago, you no longer have an excuse to put off the testing of your users.

The book begins with a short introduction to usability testing and why you want to do it. The authors then talk very briefly about the basics of good Web design--presumably to help you get a decent Web site up before you start testing. The next two chapters are the most useful in the book. They cover getting buy-in and planning for the Web usability testing. Having worked with a number of organizations to establish Web site effectiveness, I concur with the authors that getting buy-in for the whole idea is crucial to having anything useful happen with the data you are about to collect. …

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