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Title:Side by Side: What a Usability Study Told Us about a Web Site Redesign
Author(s):Dougan, Kirstin
Contributor(s):Fulton, Camilla
Subject(s):Usability Studies
Web Design
Music libraries
academic libraries
Abstract:Library Web sites must compete against easy-to-use sites, such as Google Scholar, Google Books, and Wikipedia, for students' time and attention. Library Web sites must therefore be designed with aesthetics and user perceptions at the forefront. The Music and Performing Arts Library at Urbana-Champaign's Web site was overcrowded and in much need of a user-focused redesign. This article presents a usability study that compared participants' use of the old site versus the new site to determine if performance improved on the redesigned site. Participants were asked to complete library-related tasks on both the old Web site and on the redesigned Web site to determine if they could both complete more tasks and complete tasks more quickly on the new site. Participants showed a marked improvement on the new site, and their think-out-loud; responses to the tasks helped further improve site design and wording. Participants were also surveyed about their perceptions of ease of use and navigation on the old and new sites, and in general, the new site was preferred by participants and seen as a great improvement. Future studies will aim to further involve students and faculty in addressing terminology and site organization.
Issue Date:2009
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
Citation Info:Dougan, Kirstin and Camilla Fulton. 2009. Side by Side: What a Usability Study Told Us about a Web Site Redesign. Journal of Web Librarianship 3(3): 217-237.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed:is peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-01-14

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