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ebrary Usability Report: Northern Arizona University Cline Library

Results of ebrary Usability Test Conducted April 16, 2013

Ann Ryan

on 21 September 2013

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Transcript of ebrary Usability Report: Northern Arizona University Cline Library

Executive Summary
ebrary Usability Report
ebrary access requires authentication
by NAU login and password
Who can use ebrary?
Quantitative Data
ebrary Usability Report
ebrary is an online resource that gives you access to ebooks and related information
What is ebrary?
Northern Arizona University
Cline library
ebrary Usability Report
Report Prepared on May 1, 2013
by Ann Ryan
email: rar87@nau.edu
Who can use ebrary?
3 participants rated the ease or difficulty of tasks 1, 2, and 4--for a total of 9 ratings
Task 3 asks the student to answer Yes or No if they found the publication
Quantitative Results
all users found the required publication (task 3)
all users finished each task within 15 seconds
task 2 and 4 show notable variance
task 1 was easy or somewhat easy for all 3 users

Conducting the usability test provided me with an additional point of view:
the features that make ebrary most useful require users to create a personal library account
this account will enable use of a bookshelf to store ebooks or other information as long as needed
a CRITICAL usability issue exists in that any attempt to create or sign in to a library account gives the following error:
Use the data reported from Cline usability testing to begin iterative implementation of the following:
Cline online, including ebrary, offer valuable resources, but there are many more steps to go to achieve usability
Usability Test Results
fix outdated or invalid security certificates
redesign the visual format and layout of the user interface:
aim for consistency
users expect to see web page designs that are common to most websites
ebrary Usability Report
Executive Summary
The Northern Arizona University (NAU) Cline Library website offers valuable research resources accessible via the Internet. One of these services is the ebrary, a virtual electronic library with search and storage capabilities.

While many of the ebrary features can save users time and money otherwise spent finding or buying textbooks and other references, there are problems with the user interface in terms of ease of use.

This report describes usability test data collected online through questionnaires, data analysis methods, and the results of the analysis.

The usability test results indicate that users find ebrary services valuable, but have problems finding ebrary features and understanding how to obtain ebrary information.
Test Participants (users)
3 NAU graduate students were asked to complete 4 ebrary tasks and provide feedback.
Data from the ebrary Usability Test
Test answers were evaluated based on completion of the following 4 tasks:
Task 1 - Find the ebrary link
Task 2 - Narrow search criteria
Task 3 - Locate a specific publication
Task 4 - Annotate selected text
After working on tasks, the students answered questions and offered feedback.
Comments and suggestions were tabulated based on descriptive words.
Words such as
were recorded along with instances of occurrence and related information.
Qualitative Data
authorized users can access ebrary at the following URL:
ebrary Usability Report
ebrary Usability Report
Table Terminology
The goal of this ebrary Usability Report is to help Cline Library website users by identifying ebrary highlights and issues of ease of use and accessibility. NAU professionals responsible for Cline online content can use the information from the report to implement changes that will improve ebrary services.
The objective of the usability test was to collect data from users in order to learn more about the interaction between users and the ebrary interface.
How were ebrary highlights
and issues identified?
The Usability Test
Purpose of the ebrary Usability Report
ebrary Usability Report
option (or options) refer to an ebrary service such as the ability to search for and use an online textbook
Instances of mixed feedback (both satisfactory and needs improvement) indicate user satisfaction with an ebrary option combined with difficulty using the interface to access the option
Coding Quantitative Data
User Profile
The 3 students take classes online.
They have some experience with Cline online, as follows:
Answer to Final Test Question:
Based on this test or other experience with ebrary,
will you use ebrary in the future?
The 1 student who reported infrequent visits to Cline online answered:

Of the 2 students who reported frequent visits to Cline online:
1 answered Rarely
1 answered Sometimes
Qualitative Data
In order for people to be willing to use ebrary, the certificate problems in creating and signing into a Cline library account
need to be addressed immediately
Study Limitations

The small sample size in this study makes data correlation difficult

Some task ratings may have been skewed by my giving help screens and directions for how to find a link.
Without these directions, task 1 and task 2 may have had more instances of difficult ratings.

In general, users find that the ebrary offers very good services, but does not present them in an intuitive fashion
The study did not result in a conclusive connection to the amount of visits the user has made to Cline Library online and ease or difficulty working with ebrary tasks
Willingness to visit again, however, is tied to reactions to the user interface
Summary of Feedback, Comments, & Suggestions
ebrary provides some good features and options. Highlights include:
search results display
ability to work with ebooks

Problems involve the user interface, and include:
font size too small
links hard to find due to font size and lack of color contrast
screen layout lacks cohesive visual hierarchy
Qualitative Results
Method: Coding Qualitative Data
Full transcript