Many library Web teams carry out task-based usability tests to make better Web sites. The default usability test is based on creating a list of tasks, recruiting some participants, and observing the participants while they carry out the tasks. A few basic tenets will help you create a more usable site with minimal resource expenditure. The first rule is to test early. If you start testing early in the product development cycle, you have the ability to do a series of tests, which is the second rule: Test often. Test ideas quickly, reducing the time invested in creating mock-ups. Consider your usability testing goals and your audience. Go for the least number needed. Getting the most benefit out of usability testing is critical. Most libraries are strapped for resources. Even if your pockets are deep and you can afford to test more users, don't. Instead, spend your usability resources wisely by doing more rounds of testing.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.