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UW Libraries already had a longstanding practice of using online reference interactions to understand how users interact with our systems.When the pandemic forced us to close our physical libraries in March, the value of this practice was made even clearer. This presentation will describe how feedback from chat has allowed us to pinpoint areas of confusion about rapidly changing services and policies, informed changes to our website, and been used as evidence to document usability problems for (sometimes) skeptical vendors. We will also discuss how increased cooperation between systems and online reference staff at UW Libraries have resulted in valuable synergies.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand how chat transcripts can illustrate user pain points in your online systems;

  • Identify ways to use chat transcripts to create user studies

  • Consider how systems and reference staff can partner on usability efforts

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Start Date

26-3-2021 10:00 AM

End Date

26-3-2021 10:45 AM

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/35070

ONW2021_TechS1S2-01cc.vtt (59 kB)
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Mar 26th, 10:00 AM Mar 26th, 10:45 AM

When the Questions Have the Answers: Leveraging Online Reference to Understand User Experience

UW Libraries already had a longstanding practice of using online reference interactions to understand how users interact with our systems.When the pandemic forced us to close our physical libraries in March, the value of this practice was made even clearer. This presentation will describe how feedback from chat has allowed us to pinpoint areas of confusion about rapidly changing services and policies, informed changes to our website, and been used as evidence to document usability problems for (sometimes) skeptical vendors. We will also discuss how increased cooperation between systems and online reference staff at UW Libraries have resulted in valuable synergies.