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A practical application of SurveyMonkey as a remote usability‐testing tool

Emily Symonds (University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 6 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to discuss the application of a web‐based tool as a remote asynchronous usability testing method based on an assessment of an academic library's digital collections website.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the selection of an asynchronous remote usability testing method, the reasons for the selection of SurveyMonkey, an evaluation of its effectiveness through an assessment of the digital collections web site, and the potential for its application in future usability studies.

Findings

SurveyMonkey can be employed as an assessment tool with advance planning by evaluators to capture the responses and opinions of users. Overall, it is a cost effective and time‐saving option for small assessment projects.

Research limitations/implications

This was an informal study where a specific product, SurveyMonkey, was tested with the purpose of evaluating its effectiveness as a remote asynchronous assessment tool through its application for a specific website usability study. The assessment was not compared to other testing methods, and the tool was not evaluated through formal methods.

Practical implications

Libraries and other organizations can look to free, or low‐cost, web‐based tools as an alternative to more traditional methods, such as focus groups, when evaluating services.

Originality/value

The paper describes the creation and implementation of a web‐based usability test for a library website using a specific product. It looks at the effectiveness of the assessment tool based on cost and time requirements, in addition to the benefits and disadvantages of conducting remote usability testing.

Keywords

Citation

Symonds, E. (2011), "A practical application of SurveyMonkey as a remote usability‐testing tool", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 436-445. https://doi.org/10.1108/07378831111174404

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited