“We want it now and we want it easy”: Usability testing of an online health library for healthcare practitioners

Christine J. Neilson, Virginia Wilson


Introduction – The purpose of this study was to undertake website usability testing of the Saskatchewan Health Information Resources Partnership (SHIRP) online library website,. a digital library for healthcare providers working in the province of Saskatchewan, to determine whether the SHIRP website is intuitive for healthcare practitioners to use. Methods: Thirteen volunteers from four locations in the province participated in a usability test that included a portion devoted to the completion of tasks, as well as a series of semi-structured interview questions. Data were analyzed and themes were identified that were used to redesign the SHIRP website. Results – Nine out of the 13 main menu terms on the SHIRP website were problematic. A relatively low number of participants completed the assigned tasks on the first try. The SHIRP website was determined to be unwieldy and not completely intuitive. Conclusions – Asking front line healthcare providers what they need and want in an online library website should be the first step in creating or redesigning such a site. The time available to healthcare providers for doing library research is often limited, so the site needs to be simple, clean, and fast to use.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5596/c11-024


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