Determining the Needs of Your Users Remotely

Miles, Chassidy
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The User Interfaces Unit at the University of North Texas Libraries was in the process of redesigning its catalog when the COVID-19 pandemic began. We were in the initial stages of user testing and seeking to identify critical issues with basic and advanced search capabilities, interface elements, and information architecture. The pandemic challenged us to adopt new techniques for user testing that ensured safety and the ability to meet our deadline for the Fall 2020 release of the catalog. While we had to adjust the testing software and recruitment method, we made the transition successfully and cost-effectively. We concluded that testing remotely could produce quality data while simplifying equipment requirements and providing convenience to all stakeholders. This presentation will explain the adaptation process we employed and walk the audience through examples of final testing results that we’ve been able to apply in preparation for the new catalog deployment.