Usability Testing at Bobst Library at New York University

Before the questions were asked, this script was read to the 12 students who performed usability testing:

NYU Virtual Business Library Usability Study : Opening Statement

Hello, my name is _____________, this is _____________, and this is _____________. We are staff members here in Bobst Library and we will be conducting today's session. We are glad that you have volunteered to participate in this study. Your contribution will be very valuable to us. As a token of our appreciation, we will provide you with a $20 gift certificate to the NYU Book Centers at the conclusion of the session. The session will last approximately one hour.

You are here today to help us test the usability of the NYU Virtual Business Library Website. It is important to us that our library users find the information they need. Our aim is to determine how we can improve our website to make it more intuitive and easy to navigate for our users.

During today's session you will be given a list of approximately twelve questions to answer using our website. Your responses to these questions will help us to determine how intuitive it is for you to find information on our website and how we can make the website more user-focused.

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 Virtual Business Library Website, not you.

We will read each question aloud to you; and you will be provided with a written copy of the questions, to which you may refer for the spelling of certain words and titles, or merely to refresh your memory. You will then be given approximately five minutes to find an answer to each question using the Virtual Business Library Website. In some cases, there may be more than one answer to a question. One answer is enough. It is alright to give up at any point if you feel confused or just cannot answer a question. Remember, you are not being tested.

You may think aloud as you use the Library's website. This will help us to better understand how you are viewing the website and responding to what you see there. We may occasionally remind you to think aloud.

It is okay to ask questions during the session. However, we may not be able to answer a question if we think that it will give you more information than the average user would have. But it is okay to ask.

If there is time between questions, we may ask you about what you were thinking while you were using the website. We may also ask you a few follow-up questions at the conclusion of the session.

Now, before we begin, do you have any questions for us?

Please take 5 minutes to read and look over the website, and then we can begin.

[ Subject is then asked to sign and date the Consent Form for Participation in the Bobst Library Website Usability Study. ]


Usability Test Questions for the NYU VBL

  1. You need to research a company. Please find databases that can be used to get company information.
  2. You are writing a research paper and need to find articles. Where on this site could you begin?
  3. Can you find a listing of the business journals in electronic format?
  4. What are the hours of Bobst Library?
  5. Please connect to the database Lexis Nexis.
  6. You want to use the database Bloomberg. Where is this database available?
  7. It is possible to ask a reference question via email. How would you do that from this site?
  8. Your book is overdue. Can you renew it online?
  9. Where would you look to get information on the Mexican economy?
  10. You need a recent issue of the Journal of Financial Markets. Is it available?
  11. 11. Where is the Business and Social Sciences Center at Bobst? Find this location using the web site.
  12. 12. You need an analyst report for a company. Can you find where to search for one?

Follow up Questions

  1. Do you have any general comments about the NYU Virtual Business Library Website?
  2. Were there any particular questions that you had difficulty with? Why do you think that was?
  3. Which questions would you not have tried to answer or not expected to find the answer to on the website? How would you have attempted to answer those questions?
  4. If you were to encounter difficulty with using the website, would you seek assistance? And if so, from whom or where?
  5. Do you have a favorite search engine or website you use to do
    research?
  6. Have you had any library instruction at NYU, either from a librarian or another instructor?

next: summary/results