Usability Testing of User Interfaces in Libraries

Authored by: Sharon L. Walbridge

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-ELIS4-120008712

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Abstract

As libraries face increasing competition in providing information, we must insure that our library systems are usable, effective, efficient, and perhaps even enticing. How do librarians know that systems give users what they need and want? One way is usability testing. Usability testing has been around the computer industry for at least a decade, but library use of the method is relatively new. It has been a common perception that library systems were designed for librarians. Even if the user was considered, it was from the perspective of librarians who worked with the user. Those perceptions were anecdotal, and librarians frequently disagreed with one another about user behavior and knowledge.

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