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Social and Behavioral Sciences Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Libraries

2017

Theses/Dissertations

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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Decoding Virtual Reference: Using Chat Transcripts To Guide Usability Testing And Improve Web Design, Kate E. Wimer Jan 2017

Decoding Virtual Reference: Using Chat Transcripts To Guide Usability Testing And Improve Web Design, Kate E. Wimer

Library and Information Science: Student Capstone Projects

This paper seeks to support user-centered library website design by exploring a low-effort strategy for identifying patron needs and the natural language used to describe them. The literature review cross-references library literature on chat reference with broader studies on website navigation and cognitive modeling, and briefly reviews other studies that have used chat transcript analysis as a usability tool. Word count analysis of two terms of chat reference transcripts showed several trends in patron language, particularly highlighting the benefits of usage-based navigational design. Recommendations for further usability testing are offered, as is an analysis of the method as a starting ...