In December 2017, the UX Team wanted to understand how students experienced the library’s LibGuides & the A-Z Database List.
- How do students discover and use LibGuides & the A-Z Database List?
- How do students respond to the layout, organization, tone, and content of the LibGuides & the A-Z Database List?
- We conducted usability tests with 11 students.
- We conducted a literature review of recently published articles on user testing of LibGuides.
- We used Hotjar, a website analytics software, to track how users navigate the Cite Your Sources: APA topic guide, one of our more popular guides.
What did we Learn?
- Few participants had ever used a LibGuide before.
- Most participants used Primo to start their research.
- Students found Guides difficult to locate on our website, navigate within, and read.
- Students could not describe the difference between Course, Topic, and Subject guides.
- Students seemed to prefer the two column layout. It was less overwhelming.
- Students were disoriented when they landed on a guide. What is its purpose? Why should it be trusted? How should it be used? What do the headings (ie. Top Picks: Background Information) mean?
- Explore how LibGuides can be more visible on the library website
- Explore how LibGuides can appear more integrated with the library website (i.e. library website framing the guides)
- Explore integration of course reserves into course guides just as the integration of course guides into course reserves is already underway
- Prioritize the most relevant resources on course guides and put them at the top. More generic sources (such as Oxford Reference, etc.) are a lower priority
- Ensure that all links to guides on the library website use consistent language
- Further reflect on how to position the guides for students when Primo seems to be students’ starting (and ending) point in research
- Consider creating a video explaining the use, purpose, and breadth of guides
Year of Study