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Lansing Community College Library

Usability Testing: Step by Step Instructions

Guidelines for usability testing of the library website.

Before Testing

Our goal is to do informal testing of some part of the Library website every semester. Below are the documents facilitators and notetakers use during testing. Once a semester we dedicate our web team meeting to testing (90 minutes).

At the meeting we:

  • Review facilitator guidelines.
  • Get in pairs with one facilitator and one notetaker
  • Gather materials: prizes - candy bars, laptop & mouse

Then we split up across campus to find participants in the Library, at Gibsons, TLC Lobby, Learning Commons, HHS garden level, Food court in Gannon. We try to find 4 participants in 1 hour.

During Testing

Clear the browser cache between tests so that the previous participants' typing doesn't appear.

Get participants talking by asking:

  • What are you thinking?
  • What are you looking for?
  • What are you looking at?
  • What are you doing now?
  • Do you mean the X over there?

questions from Krug, Rocket Surgery Made Easy, pg. 83

After Testing

After testing, we meet for 30 minutes and discuss the major problems encountered and how we can fix them. We write up the usability test results and share it with library staff.

What did participants struggle with? Find easy?

Think about how the problem could be solved. Remember that sometimes the answer is to remove rather than add something.

from Krug, Rocket Surgery Made Easy, pg. 117