Usability Testing at Bobst Library at New York University

Summary / Results
NYU Virtual Business Library

General Findings:
We were surprised at the various methods users employed to get to the information that they needed. What we found was that no matter what method was used, the desired information for each question was usually found in 5 minutes or less. Many subjects used the "Find" command on the tool bar and many used "Search this Site". The subjects in this test proved to be wilier and more creative searchers than we expected. Not only did they almost always find the answer, they often found it in a way we had not even considered. They find the answers their own way in spite of all our hard work to give provide them with what we believe is an obvious path to the correct answer. Almost all subjects considered themselves to be advanced Internet searchers. Library jargon can be a problem. Most subjects did not understand what an "e-journal" or a "library catalog" is.

Databases A-Z:
We need to put the alphabetical option at the bottom of the page as well as the top. It might also be good to make the list continuously scrollable, as users sometimes falter at the end of the A's.

E-Journals:
People do not understand what they are. Users often go to ProQuest or other bibliographic databases to find articles online. There is confusion about the term "e-journal". Perhaps the subgroup on the Journal/Newspaper Articles page should be changed to Journals in Electronic Format. (It now says "E-Journals").

Font:
I s it possible to use a larger font, or would this completely screw up the current layout? There have been comments that the font, especially in the database listings is very small. This may just be personal opinion.

Color Intensity:
Could the colors in the words (not the images) be brightened or darkened? After using a link, as usual it changes color, but in the VBL it becomes too light, and is almost hard to read. The color intensity problem might be due to the bad computer in the seminar room. When looking at the VBL on a different computer, it does not look quite as pale.
Perhaps the color intensity for the links on the page would be better if they were both brighter and bigger (unless this throws the whole page off).

Library Catalogs:
Not a single person used library catalogs. When asked about this, they admitted that they did not know what a catalog was and had no idea what BobCatPlus was.

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