Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Library Services Centre


Library Services Centre




Gross, J. & Leslie, L. (2006). Website Usability: A Window into a Learning Environment, Proceedings of Transforming Information and Learning Conference, Perth 29 - 30 September 2006. Western Australia: Edith Cowan University.


Academic library websites provide a vital online learning environment for students. They should follow sound design principles, provide functionality, and ease of navigation. As part of a strategy to make effective changes to the library website, Edith Cowan University Library wanted to gather evidence to discover how users went about locating information resources accessible from its website. Concerns existed amongst the library staff about how intuitive it was to locate the various information resources provided. This paper will outline the action research process taken to test the website heuristics to determine what improvements were needed in the design. Using Jakob Nielsen's usability testing principles as a guide, we conducted usability tests with students selected from across the three metropolitan campuses. Results provided us with an understanding of how students approached the interface, which problems related to design and which highlighted an information literacy issue.