User Testing Overview for Librarians and Archivists: A Guide to Performing User Tests in Your Library

This guide is for librarians and archivists who want to understand what goes into user testing coordination and implementation. This user testing documentation is meant to act as a living reference guide for Orbis Cascade Alliance institutional partners. It supports how to perform user testing with any type of library and archives patron in order to understand what success and challenges they have with different kinds of interactive digital systems like online library catalogs, digital collections repositories, library websites, and finding aid repositories.

These five components will be described in more detail in this resource.

  1. Design a User Testing Study
    Refers to the strategy that integrates the different components of your user testing study. It constitutes the blueprint for the collection, measurement, and analysis of data that addresses your research problem.
  2. The User Testing Team
    The library and archives staff who manage, create, implement, analyze, and communicate study results.
  3. Working with Test Participants
    The volunteers you recruit for user testing.
  4. Coordinating and Performing a User Testing Study
    The activities involved in recruiting test participants, selecting equipment and software, and starting and completing a test.
  5. Analysis and Celebration of Results
    Explains what to do after user testing is finished.