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Developing Usable Academic Library Website for International Students through Usability Testing

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Document pages: 21 pages

Abstract: A usable website is a key to ensuring user satisfaction whiles an unusable website brings about frustration and user dissatisfaction. Usability testing has been identified as a great way to check how usable products are to users. This is however ignored by many designers during the designing stage of products such as websites. This in the long run makes the user experience difficulties, errors, and frustration because the product was not created with the user needs in mind. Usability testing is a great way to explore the needs of users and also identify problems and challenges that users encounter while using a product. Involving users in usability testing helps to produce user-centered websites. This study therefore is an attempt to examine the Jiangsu University English Library Website which was designed for international students. Thus the study seeks to identify the needs of the international students as well as problems the users face whiles using the academic library website by involving them in the usability test. A user evaluation usability test with the Morae software was used in this study to analyze data. The study involves twenty international student participants of whom ten were from Asian Countries outside China and the other ten were from African countries and compared usability issues encountered by the groups when using the JUELW. According to the rule of the thumb 5 users are enough to help explore the usability issues. This study therefore serves as a guide for various libraries to use while conducting usability tests for their users and also makes recommendation for libraries to consider when designing library websites for their users especially international student.

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