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NGM Pilot Usability Results: What do our users say (and do)?

By Ellen Meltzer, Information Services Manager

Interested in how finding out how our users stumble or succeed in navigating the Next Generation Melvyl Pilot?  Take a look at the just-released WorldCat Local at the University of California: Usability Testing: Round Two, Fall 2009 Findings and Recommendations from the UC-OCLC Fall 2009 Assessment Project (

This report, written by Arnold Arcolio, OCLC, and Sara Davidson, UC Merced, summarizes the usability testing conducted at UCSF and UCSB in November, 2009. This round of usability testing focused on faculty and graduate student health and physical sciences participants.

The testing had the following goals:

  • Assessing whether changes to Item Details pages that came out of the first round of testing provide a clearer path to electronic content
  • Assessing changes to Item Details pages for access to print
  • Discovering whether specific search practices UC staff believe are important for scholarly researchers are supported by WorldCat Local or used by our test participants
  • Determining how participants interact with results pages and full item display pages
  • Exploring how participants think about local, group, and global scope
  • Exploring participants’ reactions to features introduced in prototypes

Following each finding is a recommendation to OCLC (or other party) or suggestion for further action.  User quotes, screen shots and participant questions are also part of the report.

The report acknowledges the “good judgment in participant selection, diligent scheduling, and reliable equipment setup” of Michele Mizejewski (UCSF) and Lorna Lueck (UCSB).