Introduction - Seattle Public Library

Introduction - Seattle Public Library

PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 Michael DeKoven Mgr, Systems & Technology North Vancouver District Public Library [email protected] Credit Where it is Due Thanks to a very hard-working team of staff who did the actual work and to NVDPLs Internet Librarian Lisa McShan who led the project. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005

PAC Usability at NVDPL About NVDPL/Background Motivation for Survey/Testing Surveys Testing What we found What we are doing about our findings What we will do differently next time PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 About NVDPL (demographics) Bedroom community of City of Vancouver Population (projected 2004) 86,000 2/3rds live in a single family home 4/5ths own their own home 2/3rds have a college or university degree

3/4ths have English as the first language 1/5th are members of visible minorities From 2001 Canada Census PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 A Bit of Background Switched from character-based catalogue to web-based system in 2002. Character-based catalogue had been heavily customized. Rapid deployment with some ad hoc decisions and known problems. Promised staff a comprehensive reevaluation one year after switch. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting

August 5, 2005 A Bit of Background Switched from character-based catalogue to web-based system in 2002. Character-based catalogue had been heavily customize. Rapid transition with some ad hoc decisions and known problems. Promised staff a comprehensive reevaluation one year after switch. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 A Bit of Background Switched from character-based catalogue to web-based system in 2002. Character-based catalogue had been

heavily customize. Rapid transition with some ad hoc decisions and known problems. Promised staff a comprehensive reevaluation one year after switch. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 A Bit of Background Switched from character-based catalogue to web-based system in 2002. Character-based catalogue had been heavily customize. Rapid transition with some ad hoc decisions and known problems. Promised staff a comprehensive reevaluation one year after switch. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting

August 5, 2005 Motivation for Survey/Testing Some decisions (like Title Keyword as the default search) controversial with some staff. Many known problems (e.g. inconsistent limits), but unsure if we should drop the feature or devote time to fixing. Wanted to find out actual user needs, not what we think they need. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 Surveys Three separate surveys. In-Library Public Survey on two days.

Web-based survey for those using the catalogue outside the library. Staff survey to provide their feedback on catalogue deficiencies. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 Testing Fifteen 1 hour sessions Participants answered pre-test questionnaire on their computer background and post-test questionnaire on their experience during the test. Participants performed 12 typical library tasks Participants talked about what they were doing and thinking about while going

through the test tasks. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 Test Environment Booked off our Public Meeting Room (quiet space away from distractions). Facilitator led participant through the test suite (without helping) on a computer set up for the testing. 2 observers watched on a separate monitor and made notes on what they saw and what the participant said. Observers behind screen to reduce performance pressure on participant. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting

August 5, 2005 Testing We attempted to find a cross-section in terms of survey source (library branch and online), age, and familiarity with the catalogue. In practice the testers were all a bit skewed towards more sophisticated computer users who were quite familiar with the catalogue. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 What we found The majority of our users found our catalogue Easy to Use.

The majority did simple title or author searches. Users tended to choose a search strategy (e.g. Title begins with) and stick with it even if wasnt working very well. Everyone had problems with Suspending Requests. Few Patrons will ask for help. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 What we found General Frequency of Catalogue Use Never 10% Less than once a month 21% About once

a month 16% More than once a week 17% Once a week 16% Two or three times a month 20% 53% of library visitors use the catalogue (in the library) more than once a month, but 10% of library visitors never use the catalogue at all. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005

What we found General Access the Catalogue Via the Internet More than once a week 22% Never 36% Once a week 10% Less than once a month 12% About once a month 9% Two or three times a month 11% 64% of library visitors surveyed also use the catalogue via the Internet (outside the library).

PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 What we found General Patron's Use of Other Catalogues 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 40% 33%

20% 7% r i ty . ve ary . . r C l u b o er Li ata nc c

uv C i a l o V b n c st Pu an nio e r V U e W k(

rth uv o o o o c l N t n Ou Va 20% 7% y C ab fB

n r o ty Bu rsi e iv Un Among test participants, 27% only used NVDPLs catalogue. Among the other library catalogues used regularly the most popular were North Van City Library and Vancouver Public Libraries PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 What we found Ease of Use Ease of Use by Frequency of Use

95 90 85 80 75 70 More than once a week Once a week Two or three times a month About once a

month Less than once a month Between 70% and 80% of the respondents found the catalogue easy to use. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 What we found Ease of Use Problems with Catalogue 100 80 60 69

74 Yes 40 20 No 31 26 Online In Library 0 Around 28% (average) reported having had problems at

some time finding information. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 What We Found Ease of Use When Patrons had a Problem Searching the Catalogue they would: ask a librarian, 20% use online help or books, 20% PAC Usability at NVDPL

Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting work things out themselve s, 60% August 5, 2005 What we found Searching Screen Navigation 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0%

38% 35% 27% No Preference Multiple Search Box Style Drop-down Menu Style Most respondents had no preference with regard to screen style (e.g. drop-down list, multiple boxes, etc.). PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 What we found Searching

Search Method 70% 63% 60% 50% 40% 30% 19% 20% 14% 4% 10% 0% Known Author or Title

Subject Rough Idea Other The most popular search method was by known title or author. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 What we found Searching 120% 100% 4% 22%

80% No, Not Important 60% 40% Yes Important 96% 78% 20% 0% Online In Library The ability to search by category (e.g. DVD, New Material, Bestsellers) scored as important to almost 80% of in-library users and to over 95% of online users. PAC Usability at NVDPL

Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 What we found Searching Comments indicated that people were confused (and annoyed) by too many results in Title Keyword searches. Our testing participants favoured using the post-search limiting and sorting drop down menus, particularly with browsing by format. Less than 40% of respondents ever tried using the power or advanced search feature, and it wasnt used regularly by anyone. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005

What we found Features Ability to Place Requests 120% 100% 0% 26% 80% 60% No, Not Important Yes Important 100% 40% 74% 20%

0% Online In Library Being able to place holds is a very popular feature. All online respondents, and 2/3 of in-library respondents placed holds. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 What we found Features Use "My List" 120% 100% 80% No

60% Yes 40% 20% 0% Under 13 13-17 18-34 35-49 50-64 65 + Only a small minority use My List, although 39% of users thought it was a useful feature to have when it was explained.

PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 What we found Features Problems with Placing Requests Yes, 8% No, 92% Few respondents reported problems with placing requests, but in testing we saw some confusion around the Add to My List button and the Place a Request button. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005

What we found Jargon Almost every test participant stumbled over a bit of Library jargon that they didnt understand. This is in spite of our attempting to avoid the use of such terms in our initial design. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 What we are doing about our findings Combine Keyword and Browse Searches to encourage users to try different strategies. PAC Usability at NVDPL

Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 What we are doing about our findings PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 What we are doing about our findings Encouraging Dynix to improve process for suspending requests (e.g. Show Suspended until date). PAC Usability at NVDPL

Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 What we are doing about our findings Patrons scroll right past this Patrons think this is the date request will be re-activated PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005

What we are doing about our findings Address known problems that cant be fixed in public training. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 What it Cost Video Splitter/Cable of 30 Movie Tickets Refreshments Staff Time (survey/data entry) (testing) PAC Usability at NVDPL

$ 70 $150 $ 35 90 hours 150 hours Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 Next Time What we will do differently: Try to make the surveying more iterative survey; compile results; modify survey and survey again. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005

Next Time What we will do differently: Do iterative testing test, make changes, test again. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 Next Time What we will do differently: Try to find methods to recruit less computer savvy test participants. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting

August 5, 2005 Next Time What we will do differently: Do some user testing with alternative terminology. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 Final Analysis The survey and testing were incredibly valuable in providing direction for tools that will help our users help themselves and enrich their library experience. We need to find a way to streamline this process and make it less staff-time intensive so we can more easily

integrate it into other Library IT projects. PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005 Contact Information Michael DeKoven [email protected] Lisa McShane [email protected] www.nvdpl.ca/special/PAC_usability.ppt PAC Usability at NVDPL Pacific NW CODI Users Group Meeting August 5, 2005

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