Usability Testing at Bobst Library at New York University


Before we began asking the questions, we read aloud from this script below:

Usability Testing Path Recorder Observer Comment Form

School Affiliation________
Grade Level _________
Browser Used ____
Netscape version ____
Explorer Version

Please describe your experience with web browsers and tools
____Advanced How familiar are you with the Bobst Library Web site?
____Not at all familiar
____Familiar with the catalog area of the site (bobstweb)
____Familiar with a good amount of the web site
____Very familiar with the Bobst Library Site

Read this to the tester before beginning.
Hi, my name is ________________and this is ____________________. We are staff here at the Bobst Library and will be facilitating today's session. We are glad that you have volunteered; your contribution will be valuable. You are here today to help us test the usability of the "How to use Bobst" section of the Web site; and in particular the tutorial section. It is important to us that our users have the information they need on how to use the library tools in the format they want. We aim to determine which tutorial format is most valuable to our users. During today's session you will be asked approximately fifteen questions that will help us determine how intuitive parts of our Web site are, and how we can make them more user-focused. We ask that you think aloud throughout this testing. We want you to know that you are not being tested. This is not a reflection of your skills or abilities. We are testing the Bobst library tutorial section of the Web site, not you. It is okay to ask questions during this session. We may not be able to answer them-if we think that the answer will give you more information that the average user would have-but it is okay to ask. Do you have any questions before we begin?


  1. Where would you go from the Bobst Library home page to find the tutorial section of the Web site?
  2. What are your thoughts (please think aloud) on the home page to the Tutorials offered at Bobst Library?
  3. From the tutorial home page, please choose either "How to find a book" tutorial, or "How to find an article" tutorial. Please spend some time looking at the tutorial of your choice and let us know what your thoughts are on the tutorial.
  4. From the home page of the WWW tutorial, where would you go if you wanted to find out what a Meta search engine is?
  5. If you were writing an English paper and wanted to find out how to include a Web site you had used as a source in a bibliography, where would you go in this tutorial to find such information?
  6. When doing an online search, it is easy to get too many results, or "hits." In this tutorial, where would you go it you wanted to learn how to search more effectively, so that you wouldn't get so many results?
  7. From the page you are now on, please navigate to the home page of the WWW tutorial.
  8. Please tell us what you think of this Web site in terms of navigation and design and ease of use.
  9. Please navigate your way from the library's home page to the Boolean Tutorial. Spend some time looking at this tutorial. Please tell us your thoughts on this tutorial. What do you think of the design and navigation?
  10. Please view the Oasis site ( Do you find the table of contents layout of this site clearer than the tutorial section of the Bobst Library site? Do you have any other thoughts on this site?
  11. Please look at the Actden tutorial. ( Can you tell us what you think of the look and feel of this site?
  12. What do you think of the quiz bytes? Do you think they would reinforce what you have learned in doing the tutorial?
  13. Can you tell us where you would go on this site to find out how to organize e-mail addresses?
  14. 14. Of the tutorials you have looked at today, which most appeals to you?
  15. Of the tutorials you have looked at today, which do you think you would learn the most from?
  16. Do you have a favorite Web site? Could you please show us the Web site?

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