What is usability?
Usability is one aspect of the user experience (UX). Usability ensures users can do what they need to on a website while user experience is about whether they've had a good experience overall. If a website isn't usable, our users won't have a good user experience.
Usability testing means we work with our users to ensure that our online resources can be easily used to help them find their research needs. We test and observe how they interact with our website and make changes based on the evidence we gather to help make things easier.
Usability is a part of an iterative process - identify issues, draft solutions, test, build, test...
Usability is not limited to the website and online resources - it can be applied to many aspects of library services and spaces.
If you have a project, you can use the toolkit to help you understand usability testing techniques or contact WUT for help with your project.
Basic Intros to Usability Testing/User Experience (UX) principles
Steve Krug Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Steve Krug Rocket Surgery Made Easy
Jesse James Garrett The Elements of User Experience
Amanda Etches and Aaron Schmidt User Experience (UX) Design for Libraries
Jakob Neilsen A leading expert on usability testing. Check out his blog
usability.gov A great website, providing explanations, templates and resources.
Background on specific usability testing methods
Analytics/Click Maps/Heat Maps