A/B testing is a powerful technique for evaluating the success of a specific design element, but it is not yet widely adopted among library user experience professionals. Many libraries cannot or choose not to do A/B testing on a live website for a variety of practical reasons. Appalachian State University Libraries recently piloted a variety of A/B testing that has the potential to address some of these shortcomings: a Qualtrics survey of tasks carried out on static prototype websites embedded into the survey as inline frames. The technique allowed us to capture qualitative data in the form of survey questions and link it to quantitative server data typical in “live” A/B tests. Prototype A/B testing allowed us to reap the benefits of A/B testing without needing to modify a production server environment. Based on our findings from a large sample of undergraduate and graduate students, we were able to justify a post-migration design choice.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Digital Libraries: UX Approaches to Labeling Online Special Collections
Digital libraries, digital collections, digital archives—just a few of the common terms used to describe the output of large-scale digitization efforts. While the term digital library is commonly used by librarians, the term itself reflects the specific disciplinary and technical environments in which the concept for a “digital library” was first imagined. Terminology has been well-explored in academic libraries, but questions remain regarding how meaningful digital library and related terms are to the users of digitized archival collections. In 2016, a reverse category test was conducted with target users of Utah State University Libraries’ digital collections to determine what labels users associate with different types of library materials. More than just an issue of semantics, this article explores the critical role that naming plays in how users understand these collections, while offering insight into how to make digitized materials more findable and usable in online environments.
Dialog Box offers a broad invitation to library workers and others who may not view themselves as ‘UX people.’ In particular we are interested in pieces which avoid the traditional scholarly voice. A dialogue is a conversation and taking the opportunity to more broadly conceive of how Dialog Box legitimizes those conversations makes for a richer, more inclusive, and engaging discussion. All of us are practitioners in some form: user experience belongs to everyone. We invite you to consider your work for submission.
Unless otherwise noted, all content in Weave UX is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY) in order to allow for the greatest possible dissemination of our authors’ work. Our authors always retain copyright to their work, and we never charge our authors to publish in Weave UX.
Weave UX is generously supported by donations from the following organizations. If you'd like to support Weave UX’s mission, drop us a line.