In February 2015, the UX team conducted research to understand student awareness and use of Library Guides.
- How could Library Guides (LibGuides) be improved?
- How do students use LibGuides?
- Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 7 undergraduate students.
- Usability testing
What did we learn?
- Few students were aware of LibGuides and found the term ‘Library Guide’ to be confusing and vague.
- Once aware of the LibGuides, most students accessed them on the library website by selecting the Get Assistance menu item.
- Students were likely to select a recommended link in a LibGuide if it was familiar and one of the top 3 listed links.
- Students were unlikely to access virtual help while using a LibGuide page.
- Students found getting to the LibGuides challenging.
- Improve visibility. Create a link on the library’s homepage with a short description of what a Library Guide is. Include more information about Library Guides on existing links on the library website.
- Explore opportunities to promote Library Guides from websites external to the library.
This could attract users that don’t frequent the library’s website.
- Improve search rankings. Library Guides should be the top result and the resultant link should go directly to the university’s LibGuides homepage.
- Improve help support. Include a chat widget near the Ask Us icon on LibGuides’ pages to make the chat option more recognizable and to combat the issues with the Ask Us icon.
- Improve design elements. Create or improve the descriptions under each link. Students consult the descriptions when deciding which link is the most appropriate for them.
- Enhance content scannability. Increase the font of headings to allow the page to be more scannable.
Year of Study