screenshot from old British motoring book

Masters’ Thesis

Abstract

This paper describes a mixed method study of change implementation resulting from flash usability testing at Duke University Libraries. Flash usability testing, also known as guerilla or on-the-fly, is a method that allows researchers to collect large amounts of data in a short amount of time with quick, unplanned think-aloud tests in a high-traffic library space.

Data from usability reports was triangulated with data from interviews with members of Duke University Libraries’ WebX team. WebX is a cross-departmental team that acts as “functional owner” of the libraries’ web presence. It commissions flash usability tests and uses the data to implement changes or spur further research. Interviews incorporated a card sort of the recommendations from every flash usability test. The paper unearths myriad attitudes toward the libraries’ web presence and perceptions of the role of usability testing in the academic library. Additionally, the paper details the subsequent effectiveness of change implementation.

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