Web Survey (2004) | User Studies


A web survey linked from the NCSU Libraries Homepage was conducted in October and November of 2003. The survey asked whether users had been successful in their last visits and what they would like to see on the Libraries' website. There were 127 participants with the majority (54%) being graduate students. The survey served in part as a recruiting tool for focus groups and upcoming usability tests.

In completing the survey, library users were asked to supply an email address and their university affiliation (faculty, staff, graduate student, undergraduate student, or other), as well as answer two open-ended questions about their recent experiences with the library website. They were also encouraged to offer suggestions for improvement, and asked whether they were willing to be contacted in the future. The purpose of the open-ended questions was to get patrons' ideas at the beginning of the web redesign process when the surveyors were not looking for anything in particular from their respondents.

Team and Partners

  • Bonnie Tijerina
  • Yinon Bentor


Students reported that they were most often looking for books, journal articles, or databases. The majority of the time (82%) they reported finding the resource they were looking for. Many feature requests centered on the catalog, journals, and databases. A large number of comments (41%) indicated wants that already exist on the NCSU Libraries homepage. This may indicate a problem locating the services we have available or in our naming of these services. Frequently suggested features that already exist included online reference help from a librarian, My Borrowing Record functionality, and browsing journals by subject.


Recommendations for the catalog included:

  • adding more catalog search options on the homepage
  • providing research suggestions within the catalog
  • eliminating or extending catalog session time limits
  • supporting marking records for review and printout

Regarding access to journal articles, some respondents suggested:

  • more browsing of journals and e-journals by subject
  • remove infrequently used links from the homepage to reduce clutter
  • create a more prominent library website search box
  • offer easier ways to browse course reserves

A full summary of findings and recommendations may be found in Appendix B in the Report.

Reports and Presentations

Last updated: October 2009