Findings and recommendations from a round of usability testing conducted on a prototype UC-eLinks window in February 2007

By Jane Lee (Jane.Lee@ucop.edu), CDL Assessment Analyst

On behalf of Head of Public Services (HOPS) and the UC-eLinks project team, CDL’s assessment unit traveled to UCSD to assess a prototype version of the UC-eLinks window.  The main purpose of this assessment was to determine if the changes made to the UC-eLinks user interface improved the usability of the interface.  Eight usability testing sessions were conducted on February 22-23, 2007 at UC San Diego in a Library Administration office in Geisel Library.  Each session lasted approximately one hour.

The following are two major findings from this round of assessment:

1.  Placing links into logical groupings improves usability, but current labels for groupings and links are confusing to users.

2.  Students face many potential pitfalls in trying to reach online full text.  The UC-eLinks window itself poses challenges.  Furthermore, even if students successfully navigate through UC-eLinks to a publisher’s site, for a variety of reasons presented in this report there is no guarantee that they will obtain the full text article they were seeking.

To learn more, please read the full report, which is available at the following URL:
http://www.cdlib.org/inside/assess/evaluation_activities/docs/2007/elinks_ucsd_feb2007.pdf