Web Team Surveys Users to Improve Libraries’ Website

Ever since the Libraries’ launched a redesigned website in 2012, the web team has actively solicited feedback from staff, students and faculty to make the site a more intuitive workspace. The latest manifestation of this effort was a project led by Megan Tomeo, web services librarian, that sought opinions on how patrons used the website and which tasks they found most difficult to accomplish. Over 140 respondents shared their experiences.

Frequency of use during a week by status. (Number in parenthesis represents total respondents per status.)
Frequency of use during a week by status. (Number in parenthesis represents total respondents per status.)

The exploratory survey suggested that staff respondents were more likely to look for special collections than were faculty and students, and students were more likely to report difficulty in finding information than were faculty. Respondents also indicated that finding books and searching ALICE catalogs were easier tasks; whereas finding journal articles and searching databases and ArticlesPlus were more difficult.

Overall ease of use of the Libraries' website.
Overall ease of use of the Libraries’ website.

“The purpose of this survey was to point us toward areas that are potentially problematic,” Tomeo said. “From there, we conducted usability testing with some respondents and actually saw how people move through the process.”

That information will be used to inform future decisions, Tomeo said, and ultimately move the web team toward one of their primary goals:

“We want our website to be really easy to use — no matter what someone wants to do, we want to be sure they can do it efficiently.”

Frequency of use during a week per college. (Number in parenthesis represents total respondents; values for "other" and "non-affiliated" not included.)
Frequency of use during a week per college. (Number in parenthesis represents total respondents; values for “other” and “non-affiliated” not included.)