[USABILITY4LIB] Wanted: OPAC Testing Results

John Kupersmith jkup at jkup.net
Tue Feb 1 12:22:17 EST 2005

Brian --

At UC Berkeley we recently did an online survey that provided some 
unusually clear guidance on how to name searches in the OPAC.

Respondents preferred "Title keyword(s)" (62.2%) over "Title words" (28.3%) 
or "Title" (6.3%).

For a left-anchored string search, respondents preferred "Title begins 
with..." (70.9%) over "Title phrase" (15.7%) or "Title (exact)" (9.1%).

Both "Journal Title" and "Title of Journal" were understood correctly (as 
covering journal titles) by almost all respondents.  About one quarter of 
respondents and slightly over one third of undergraduates incorrectly 
assumed these searches would cover article titles, and a smaller number 
thought they would include full text.

We were also looking for an alternative to "telnet" to describe the older 
version of our catalog.  No term was a clear winner here; the most 
successful were "command-line" (33.9%) and "telnet" (26.8%).

Full report:
< http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/Staff/wag/pathfinder_user_survey_report.html >

Survey form:
< http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/Staff/wag/pathfinder_user_survey.html >

For terminology data from other studies, some of which are OPAC-related, see:
< http://www.jkup.net/terms-studies.html >

I'm cross-posting this to Web4Lib to follow up on an earlier discussion 
there.  Anyone with data on library terms that users do or don't understand 
(especially the former!) is invited to send it to me.

   John Kupersmith        jkup at jkup.net        http://www.jkup.net
   Reference Librarian                 http://www.lib.berkeley.edu
   Doe/Moffitt Libraries
   University of California, Berkeley

At 08:41 AM 2/1/2005, you wrote:
>A colleague of mine is interested in the results of any usability studies
>any of you have done on your OPACs. I'm sure he'd be willing to share the
>results of his ongoing studies also. If you could send them to me I'll pass
>them along.
>Brian J. Hoffman
>Lead Systems Analyst
>Penn State University Libraries
>bjh1 at psu.edu

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