CIL: Usability and Libs
User expectatios of online lib services...
users' notion of “broken”
libs know our online services are imperfect...constant improvement / tweaking
in surveys etc users talk about frustration / inconvenicne / confusion
sometimes words like “maddening”, horrendus, sucks etc.
It either works for them, or not
most common complaint....too many choices...or “there must be something wrong with me b/c I can't figure it out”...spend lots of time explaining that we're help to help...
peeps don't get stuff=problem...bigger prob than usability...might just not have it...
breaks in chain of access not always where you think...response is just to go to google
why isn't everything in google anyway...well, we have a good answer for that...but, maybe we should talk to vendors to fix that...maybe that is our job...hmmm....
chain of info access from need to retrieval is only as strong as its weakist link
remote access, printing services, link resolving are all parts of the chain
new interfaces (eg. Handheld devices...smartphone / netbook etc...) become part of the chain of access
beyond userfriendly software and reliable hardware...problems go beyond that...
users expect easy, direct, immediate access to what they need
the have alternatives and low tolerance
limited and inconvenient collections are also part of unsability...eg. Microfiche...is it different in TBAy b/c our genealogists are very happy to use microfilm???...or different for genealogists?
Siloed e-content is also a usability issue...so our My Giant Search is one solution...I think
seamless, simple, fast and reliable systems and servcies are the goal
common interfaces, seamless and integrated discovery
comprehensive info access...one stop shopping is what the peeps want
we need to think about what isn't indexed...why is not digitized
next presenter...Yu-Hui Chen and Carol Ann Germain, Univ at Albany
usability...how to ensure a function is used well
did a study at their lib...results are local, but hopefully with wide applicability...
surveyed 84 ARL libraries...for policies, usability testing and resoruces...env scan
hardly anyone has web usability standards, policies and guidelines...wowser, do we need them?!...look to Neilson and co for guidance...also “Research Based Usability Guidelines” book (look it up)...psg=policy, standard, guideline
libs all thought usability testing is important, but only about half did regularly...however most have done it
what were people testing?...most: Web site; least: opac
libs with dedicated usability testing staff: 25%...wow
are people learning usability in lib schools?
Usually done as an “extra” to other jobs
issues, challenges and recommendations:
reasons why people have difficulty implementig psgs:
lack of skills/training
resistance to change
not a lot of support from admin ...due to limited knowledge/experience/political agendas
lack of resrouces (time, staff, organizational knowledge)
published article...with actual survey included