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					River Campus Libraries

 User Centered Design Process

     Brenda Reeb, Usability
     David Lindahl, Digital Initiatives
     Susan Cardinal, Science Libraries
 User Centered Design Process

 Overview
 Design Group
 Content Group
 Usability Group

 Content Group
   Knowledge of library science, content, content
   Experience with users and user interfaces
   Includes public and/or technical services staff
 Design Group
   Knowledge of user interface design, visual
    design, and web standards, and technology
 Usability Group
   Knowledge of Usability testing methods

 Content Group
   Define key tasks
   Raise issues
   Manage project
 Design Group
   Create design iterations and prototypes
   Respond to issues and test results
   Manage issue-response process
 Usability group
     Select appropriate tests to perform
     Perform tests
     Report results
     Manage key-task process

                Content group

                issues   key tasks

Design group                 Usability group

                            key tasks
                            test results

                Content group


Design group                Usability group

                            test results

      Group             User Focus

      Usability group   Highest
                        No other goal than to
                        represent the user.

      Design group      Medium
                        Competes with standards,
                        technology, time and money

      Content group     Medium
                        Competes with exhaustive
                        content, complex tasks

Artifacts of design process
 Key task list
 Design iterations and prototypes
 Usability results
 “Issue/response” document

 Regular meetings (design     usability)
 Project specific meetings (usability content,
  content design)
  Design Group

 Reorganized in 2001
 Lives in the Digital Initiatives Unit
    ¼ FT UI designer (MS, Computer Science)
    1 FTE graphic designer (BA, Graphic Design)
    1 FTE developer
 Responsibilities
    UI Design and prototyping
    Style guidelines
    Issue/response process
  Design Group

Perspective on Site Design
 “Hide the technology”
 Consistency across library website
 Task-oriented pathways
 Usability testing results

Perspective on Page Design
 Essential components
 Prioritize
 Simplify
 Style guidelines
    Design Group

Style Guidelines

 Universal Design               “Universal design is the
                                 design of products and
 Section 508
                                 environments to be
 Web Style Guide                usable by all people, to
 Research-Based Web             the greatest extent
                                 possible, without the
  Design & Usability             need for adaptation or
  Guidelines                     specialized design.”
 Page Editors’                  Ron Mace
 Design Group

User pathways

                            Databases A-Z

                    Databases by Subject

                      Mapping your search to a
                      subject takes you away
    Find Articles     from your natural path
  Design Group

Models For Finding: Google

1. Enter keywords
2. Browse results by title
   and snippet
3. View full text
  Design Group

Models For Finding: FRBR

FRBR User Tasks
 Find
 Identify
 Select
 Acquire

FRBR = Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records
More information:
  Content Group

 Multiple content groups, one for each project
 Any number of members (1-?)
 Every department participates - cataloging,
  circulation, reference, etc.
 Created and disbanded as needed
  Content Group

Content group activities:
 Define key tasks
 Select appropriate content
 Apply experience and education
 Observe some tests
 Interpret usability results
 Raise issues, not design solutions
 Content Group

What is a key task?

  Key tasks are defined as frequently asked items,
  frequent actions or navigation to parent/child

Example key tasks:

  •   Find   a known article.
  •   Find   a known journal.
  •   Find   an article on a specific topic.
  •   Find   articles on a multidisciplinary topic.
  •   Find   a specific journal collection.
 Content Group

Find Articles Group

 Acted as content group
 Collected issues
 Categorized these issues
     Technology issues (website, SFX, ILL, Databases OPAC)
     Building, shelving & organizational Issues
     Subscription issues
     Citation problems
     Basic research help
     Librarians
 Created scenarios
 Assigned issues to various other groups…
  Usability Group

Usability Program
 Began 2001
 7 staff trained as usability testers
 Over 20 projects, large and small
 Testers volunteer for projects
 Reading, conferences, practice
 Vendor co-development
  Usability Group

Usability team activities:
 Manage key task process
 Design and conduct tests
 Maintain a “lab”
 Communicate results to staff and public
 Usability Group

Manage key task process
 Usability Group

Manage key task process

    Key task              Test question

 Find a known      Find an article in the Journal
 journal           of Fish Biology.

 Find a journal    Your friend told you there is
 collection        a collection of political
                   science journals called
                   JSTOR. Where is it?
  Usability Group

Design and conduct tests
 Mental model test
 Heuristic test
 Card sort test
 Assessment test (Click path)
 Scenario test

See Jeff Rubin “Handbook of Usability Testing”, Wiley, 1994
 Usability Group

Picture of our lab

                     Meet me at Circ!
 Usability Group

Communicate results
Culture and Politics

Students say:
“I need an article!”

Librarians say:
 “Select a database”
 “This database has 435 journals in it.”
 “These journals are peer reviewed.”
 “Choose basic or advanced.”
 “These journals predate the Civil War.”
 Culture and Politics

Student culture

 Connect at courses, not at academic disciplines
 Meet them where they are
    Students attend POL250 – “Conflict in Democracies”
    They do not relate to Political Science.
    They do not envision themselves as political scientists.
 Sustainability
    Distributed workload (all bibliographers participate)
    Dynamic, database-driven pages
 Culture and Politics

Expect these accusations!
 Simple designs dumb down the site
 Testing 3 users is not enough
 “I have to wonder if usability testing - especially
  for money - proves very useful input”
 No one told me about this
 Where is your report?
 This is so subjective!
 Culture and Politics

Try these responses:
 Inform
    Page design process document
    Don’t leave home without the toolkit
       Neilson’s Alert Boxes
       Pages from Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think
 Engage
    Observe tests
    Publish results

                   ERA Server
   Library                                Subscription
  Web Server       XML          XML        Database

                 XSLT        XSLT
                                             Page with
                   HTML         HTML         Full Text


        Search    (Gather)      Select       Full
                                Article      Text

OpenURL Knowledge Base
 Get the article
 Choose an alternative (catalog, ILL)
 Translate Journal abbreviations
River Campus Libraries


     Brenda Reeb, Usability
     David Lindahl, Digital Initiatives
     Susan Cardinal, Science Libraries

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