Oliver v5 usability testing - with students, for students


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Oliver v5 usability testing - with students, for students

Library professionals know what a positive contribution an intuitive, easy to use school library system can make to achieving educational outcomes for their students.

At Softlink, we take a user-centred approach to product development. This means we start by understanding what users need and want from a library software system, then we work to develop innovative, targeted solutions with features that are helpful, intuitive and easy to use.

Usability testing, which focuses on the user experience, is crucial to ensuring our software meets these criteria.

We apply a method called ‘thinking aloud’, which involves asking users to talk us through what they are doing as they complete a set of tasks using the system. This method provides access to real-time feedback and allows us to discover how the system really performs in the hands of users. It also helps us identify where users may encounter problems or experience confusion, so we can highlight and fix any potential issues before the product launch.

As part of the new search interface development process, Softlink worked with staff and students in a number of test schools to carry out usability testing with this method.

While we can’t share footage from those sessions, we thought our blog readers might like to get a glimpse of what the testing process involves. We recently invited the children of Softlink staff to take part in the process and we’ve made this short video to show you how it works.

Take a look at the video here.

Softlink also conducts traditional testing on its software prior to release, such as alpha, beta and acceptance testing.

And if you’re wondering about the end result of the development process, this video gives you an overview of the features you’ll find in the recently released new Oliver v5 search interface.

To find out more about how Oliver v5 can meet the needs of your school library, visit softlinkint.com/product/oliver or contact a Softlink consultant.


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