Usability testing on Vufind

Katie Bauer posted this one to NGC4LIB:
Of possible interest to those who may be contemplating doing usability testing on their OPAC, Yale recently conducted two tests on pilot VuFind installations at Yale. One study looked at a subject based presentation of ebooks for the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library http://www.library.yale.edu/libepub/usability/studies/summary_medical.doc

and the other looked at a pilot test of Vufind with a sample of 400,000 records drawn from the Library's Voyager system http://www.library.yale.edu/libepub/usability/studies/summary_undergraduate.doc

Test questions were drawn from user search logs in the current library system, and some were designed to test for those problems that the logs have demonstrated exist for patrons, such as incorrect spellings, and incomplete title information. In reading the reports please be aware that some of the problems uncovered may have had a lot to do with peculiarities of the Yale implementation, such as the sample of records imported into VuFind for this test, and less to do with VuFind itself.

In general participants were intrigued by the possiblities offered by facets, although the topic facets in particular did not always seem to function as they expected or desired. The most desired feature participants wanted to see developed was an easy direct export from the catalog to a bibliographic citation management tool such as RefWorks and Endnote (while other catalogs may have this feature already, the current Voyager system at Yale does not a direct export feature.)

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why?

Isn't doing a usability study on a Big Three OPAC like volunteering to taste test prison food?

You know it's going to be horrible. And you know there is nothing you can do about it.

What's the point of all this?

Not sure if Chuck would

Not sure if Chuck would consider III to be one of the 'big 3', but Innovative's interface is extremely configurable. It's just not easy to configure, so most folks have hideous interfaces.

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