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November 2013

Account Usability Testing Round 1

November 12, 2013 | TPL Staff | Comments (5)

Assuming other news may have distracted you from reading our most recent blog post, here's a brief update on what we're doing. The Account Redesign Project team is hard at work developing a new mobile friendly account experience and on November 4th we put our prototype in front of several library users. This was the first of many planned user testing sessions. We observed users in action performing tasks like renewing books, cancelling holds, and changing pickup locations. 

A library user testing the prototype on a phone

As we have been working ‘mobile first’ i.e. starting with design for the smallest screen – the first round of testing focused on mobile devices. Members of the Website Advisory Group were invited to participate in this day of testing.

Testing was conducted on an interactive prototype of the design, a sort of live sketch of the new account. This allowed us to ask people to interact with the prototype and complete typical library account management tasks. By doing task based testing, for example asking someone how they would renew their books, we get invaluable feedback on how easy tasks are to complete and whether users can see the information they need.

Outstanding holds screen grab
Account prototype as of November 12th.


We met some great people and got an excellent sense of what in the design is working and where improvements are needed. Overall, the task completion rate was high, meaning we are on the right track, but there were a few stumbling blocks in the design, like the ability to access branch open hours information easily. 

User testing findings

  • you want to easily be able to see time-sensitive information,
  • you want clear and consistent date formats,
  • you don’t consider outstanding hold expiry dates very important,
  • you want easier access to branch open hours information.

This week we've been reviewing and analyzing your feedback and our testing observations and are fast at work making revisions in preparation for our next round of testing. 

A big, big thank you to all those who came out and participated. Please keep checking back here for regular updates on our progress and to let us know how we're doing. If you would like to join the Website Advisory Group and have a chance to see the new Account first hand, please let us know.

Staff from the Toronto Public Library's eServices team talk about recent changes, future plans and ideas and issues you raise about the library's online and mobile services.


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