Date of this Version
Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship (Summer 2009) 10(2). Also available at http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/content/v10n02/nichols_j01.html.
Usability, user studies, and evaluating user experiences have been a part of academic libraries for many years. In the last 20 years libraries have created ad hoc usability teams to do user studies. Oregon State University (OSU) Libraries started its ongoing team in 2006, resulting in an increased focus on user experience throughout the libraries. This article explores the team’s history from formation to work it took on. The merits and challenges usability teams bring to an organization are also discussed. To date the literature describes usability methods and shares findings from libraries’ usability studies but none discusses benefits a standing usability team brings to a library organization or the work it may do.