Designing a Test

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been developing a new History Research Guide.  I have spent time digging through all of the databases that Musselman Library subscribes to in order to categorize them on the new site.  I was hoping to make the site as easy to navigate as possible so that students can easily find the right sources.  I finally feel that I have reached a point where the new guide is ready to be tested. 

This past week, I have done research into usability testing and have designed a test for the new guide.  I sat down with Ronalee, the library’s Director of User Services, to learn how to use a user testing program, Morae.  The program tracks mouse movements, clicks, and records the user so that an observer can go back and listen to their comments.  I have laid out six different tasks that each tester will be asked to complete, so that I can determine where errors or confusion might arise with the new guide.  For a sample, one of the tasks asks the user to find the contact information for the history liaison, Clint Baugess.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be searching for participants (preferably those who are taking history courses) to test out the new guide.  I am looking forward to learning from each of the tests, so that I can make changes to the guide. It will be interesting to see how others perceive the changes that I have made and I am hoping that those changes are good! 

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