Document Type



Publication Date

Winter 2-16-2016


academic libraries, database searching, information literacy, information retrieval, research methodology, user experience, user interfaces, website design


The researchers conducted a task-based usability test of the effectiveness of online research beginning on the library Web site homepage. The participants included five university faculty members, six graduate students, and six undergraduate students. All participants reported feeling satisfied with their overall research experience, though most were unable to effectively complete all the research tasks of the test. The researchers identified weaknesses in the approach and process of many participants, and overall usability issues of the library discovery tool and other library Web site pages and research interfaces. Findings indicate the need to strategically incorporate self-service information literacy and research skills help into the library Web site, and to implement navigation and design changes to the library homepage, discovery tool interface, online catalog, and across all the library's Web services.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Web Librarianship on 02/16/2016, available online:

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License



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