A list of resources to accompany the Tech Talks Presentation by Kristin Boyett, February 22, 2006

Online Sources

Adaptive path.   http://www.adaptivepath.com/  (accessed December 30, 2005).

Adaptive Path bills itself as a user-experience consulting company, based in San Francisco . Check out their newsletter and reports for general information about usability practices.

Covey, Denise Troll.  Usage and Usability Assessment:  Library Practices and Concerns.  Washington, DC: Digital Library Federation, Council on Library and Information Resources, 2002.   http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub105/pub105.pdf

Hom, James.  Usability Methods Toolbox.  http://usability.jameshom.com/ .

National Cancer Institute.  Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines.  http://www.usability.gov/guidelines/index.html.

This site, which once promised "to deliver over 50 of the top Web design and usability guidelines based on emerging research... " has lost some of its appeal because most of the content is dated 1995-2000. Still, it remains a good source for solid, evidence-based guidelines for user interface design.

Toub, Steve.  Evaluating Information Architecture: A Practical Guide to Assessing Web Site Organization

.  [ Ann Arbor ]: Argus Associates, 2000, pp. 18-23.  http://argus-acia.com/white_papers/evaluating_ia.html.

Usability Professionals' Association.  http://www.upassoc.org/ (accessed December 30, 2005). 

This organization supports usability specialists, people from all aspects of human-centered design, and the broad family of disciplines that create the user experience in promoting the design and development of usable products. Their annual conference in June usually conflicts with ALA 's. Consider volunteering at the conference to reduce registration fees.

USABILITY4LIB Discussion List.  https://www.library.rochester.edu/usability4lib (accessed January 2006).

Subscribe or search the archive to USABILITY4LIB listserv. Hosted by Brenda Reeb, University of Rochester and Eric Lease Morgan, University of Notre Dame.  

Journal Articles

Garrett, Jesse James.  "The Psychology of Navigation."  DigitalWeb Magazine, December 17, 2002.

"Every link makes a promise, but the creators of the link have little control over what that is. The promise exists entirely in the mind of the user. ... The most important factor in evaluating the link is its language. First and foremost, users will look for specific words that they would use to describe what they're looking for. They aren't mulling over interpretation and connotation. They're looking for particular words, and finding those particular words will overwhelmingly cause them to click links. If they don't see their own words, they'll keep an eye out for words they would expect other people to use."

Hudson, Laura.  "From Theory to (Virtual) Reality."  Library Journal 126.11 (2001): 12.

Journal of Usability Studies.

This journal promotes the practice, research, and education of usability engineering. Published by the Usability Professionals Association, it is peer-reviewed, international, online, and free. 

Klein, Leo Robert. "The Expert User Is Dead." Library Journal NetConnect, Fall 2003.

Klein, Leo Robert. "The Web Is Not Your Library." Library Journal NetConnect (Winter 2001):  36-37.  Draft version: "The Utilitarian Web."

Mack, Thura, et al. "Designing for Experts: How Scholars Approach an Academic Library Web Site." Information Technology and Libraries (2004):  16-22.

McGillis, Louise, and Elaine G. Toms. "Usability of the Academic Library Web Site: Implications for Design." College & Research Libraries (July 2001):  355-367.

Mellon, Constance A. "Library Anxiety: A Grounded Theory and Its Development."  College & Research Libraries 47 (1986):  160-165.

This classic study quotes a student: "When I first entered the library, I was terrified. ... It was like being in a foreign country and unable to speak the language."

Morgan, Keith, and Tripp Reade. "Pioneering Portals: MyLibrary@NCState." Information Technology & Libraries 19.4 (2000): 191.

Stover, Mark, and Steven D. Zink. "World Wide Web Home Page Design:  Patterns and Anomalies of Higher Education Library Home Pages."  Reference Services Review 24 (Fall 1996):  7-20.

"Usability Musings."  Library Technology Reports 38.2 (2002): 6.

Veldof, Jerilyn R., Michael J. Prasse, and Victoria A. Mills.  "Chauffeured by the User: Usability in the Electronic Library." Journal of Library Administration 26 (1999):  115-140.

Waibel, Gunter.  "Letting Users Show the Way."  RLG Focus Issue 64, October 2003.

Reports on usability testing for RLG systems including RedLightGreen.

"After trying hard to meet the undergraduates on their own turf, we were astonished by how many disconnects we still uncovered in terminology.  An option to limit searches to maps was perceived as a possible link to online roadmaps; a reference to scores found the students thinking about sports rather than music; [we had to explain] language such as "most widely held" or "edition" . . . .  And since the user is always right, we'll try to find clearer words."

Wright, Carol A.  "The Academic Library as a Gateway to the Internet: An Analysis of the Extent and Nature of Search Engine Access from Academic Library Home Pages."  College & Research Libraries 65 (2004):  276-286.


Bishop, Ann P., Nancy A. Van House, and Barbara P. Buttenfield.  Digital Library Use:  Social Practice in Design and Evaluation.  Cambridge, MA:  MIT Press, 2003.

Krug, S.  Don't Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability.  2nd ed.  Berkeley:  New Riders, 2006.

This is an easy read (many cartoons!) that humorously illustrates basic usability tenants such as why testing 3-5 users is enough.  A nice combination of usability and design best practices.  Good source of persuasive material for non-believing administrators of the benefits of user-centered design.

Noerr, Peter L.  The Digital Library Toolkit.  2nd ed.  Palo Alto, CA: Sun Microsystems, 2000.


Return to the  User-Centered Design Presentation.

About the Author:  Librarian Kristin Boyett is the project manager for the UNT Libraries' Multi-Media Development Lab.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 12:00pm