UX Libraries Meetup: Notes on Google Analytics Talk and Lightning Talks

The UX Libraries Vancouver Group had a presentation on Google Analytics and a few lightning talks.

Google Analytics by Jonathan Kift

statistics are constantly gathered in libraries; web analytics is only one of them; also want to answer specific questions, be able to tell stories

  • Accounts = general sources of data; under which you have properties (silos of data; almost like profiles)
  • Common that in libraries, will have multiple profiles, especially to track users on hosted/vendor sites
  • always leave “All Web Site Data” alone
  • most common view: exclude staff usage; may also have others: central branch only, public terminals, etc.
  • create view by using filters e.g. exclude IP Address
  • date range; can also compare to previous year(s)
  • can turn off stats from spiders, etc.


  • things to look at: behavior -> site content -> All Pages
  • exit (last page you looked at, where people are leaving) vs. bounce rate (single page session; immediately leave)
  • track where people are exiting: consider using events with categories (e.g. Databases; Bibliocommons)
  • tracking info: referral exclusion list: will not end session
  • exclude URL Query Parameters e.g. session ID, profile, limitbox
  • similar: content drilldown, which groups subpages; landing pages, where people arrive


  • All traffic -> referrals: how people get to your site, what was the last page they were on
  • channels: type of source
  • social media


  • how are people using the current site?
  • can see desktop vs. mobile vs. tablet
  • browser


  • based on technology
  • content inventory: how many relative views

* Library Technology Review, Number 4 / June 2013
* Guide from Massachusetts Library System
* Google Analytics Academy
* Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-on – helps to gather data from different properties


  • piwik (free)
  • crazyegg.com (paid, small fees) – heatmap, scrollmap, overlay

Break Time

Time to socialize a bit

Cute ducks

Lightning talks

Engaging the BC Wine Industry (in Online Forums) : Kim Buschert

  • 3-year project, position the BC Wine industry for international growth; UBC Kedge wine industry collaboration
  • positioning: working with industry to reach their goals, rather than doing research project
  • working on project coordinator: tracking, reporting
  • engagement activities: 100% of the industry by the end of the year
  • task forces, events (wine leaders forums, wine industry collaborative, town halls), communications (knowledge dissemination, online discussion forums, information portal)
  • challenges: users understand role of university, wide rage of user personas (reflects range of wineries and operators; might be only on mobile or check email once a day); tracking engagement (in-person events, email/newsletters, online presence), care and feeding of web content, social media, forums; quantifying engagement

No tweaks why test? UX study at BCIT library

  • what discovery layer
  • why doing a test if not customizing/changing anything
  • to inform teaching
  • recruitment by posting notice, for $10 gift card; limited to 15 students
  • instructors by invitation
  • overwhelming response allowed getting a range of students and areas
  • 6 scenarios in total, done within 30 minutes
  • observing and recorded difficulties
  • post
  • not as intuitive; no idea how to email citation, get to advanced search
  • created google spreadsheet (using conditional colouring)
  • created tip sheet with blank boxes for students to fill in

What we learned

  • have at least two people: one to administer, one to observe
  • have coding sheet while doing the test

UX Testing at Langara Library by Dan Slessor

  • conducting us studies in order to preapre for a refreshed library homepage and research help page
  • incorporation staff from reference, borrower, systems, college department (e.g. communications & marketing), student workers
  • key points: many hands make light work; incorporating diverse roles resulted in better understanding of our students’ habits and abilities, which in turn has resulting in improved service points
  • usability testing: recruited 5 students, bring in research assignments, recorded screens and talk-aloud; allowed to go wherever they wanted
  • example: Gladiator music research, went back to library website and typed in trumpets, then went to Google
  • recordings were given to reference groups: got group analysis to find road blocks in interface, but also allowed
  • card sorting tied to research help: why they; always had someone from borrower services; 160 students over 2 days;
  • web analytics: crazyegg heathmaps, and google analytics (involves C&M, and systems)
  • systems staff to review
  • A/B Testing -> SWAP students
  • jargon audit
  • conclusion: involving staff members from a variety of roles is worth if
  • involving staff from for increased understanding of student needs and ultimately improved services across service points
  • more staff buy-in

Everything is user experience: Seeing (almost) everything through the UX lens : Janis McKenzie

  • skills training (example) library juice courses; Steve Krug books
  • user experience innovations are everywhere
  • ILL request form: book, journal article
  • what is really easiest for the user? e.g. printed schedule for unbookable rooms
  • the solution involves other people. bringing the student’s idea to the commons space staff for them to come up with a solution

Easy Approach to a New Library Home Page

  • changing tabs to buttons
  • inherit frame from parent site; can only customize what links go into menu
  • search box a bit small


1) ID Scope (change the content area of the homepage)
2) Identify Goals (home page elements to maximize student usability; priority areas identified
3) redesign: get rid of the tabs, strategic use of colour, new navigation in prime real estate area, buttons created in HTML; Built tool to change colour on the fly of different elements using basic onClick property. Asked staff to choose some colour combinations
4) Usability testing: flash test – what do you see (first, next)? ; which do you like? ; task test – can you find? ; play – can choose own colour combination

3 Tools to Inform Your Web Redesign : Adrienne Lai

  • content strategy: readability-scre.com; gather content
  • UX research & design: Moqups (alternatives: draw.io, Baslsamiq), inVision; na.gg
  • information architechture: card sort analysis; treejack
  • assessment/analytics: crazyegg, PageSpeed Insights, WebPageTest
  • Treejack: free trial: online tool to test architecture; only shows structure/labels; get detailed
  • Moqups (free with limits): liked it combination of looked nice and easy to use
  • WebPageTest (free): more detailed analysis than PageSpeed Insights (by Google); interface can be a bit clunky/options can be overwhelming

Improving User Experience for Student Research : Joyce Wong

  • put up self-help, but factory manual, compartmentalized, too many choices
  • how can we do better? we have lots of student data: courses/status
  • offer more just in time help: strategic choices
  • collaborate with faculty: anticipate student needs
  • need background context
  • generate specific searches, suggest adding keywords
  • need faculty buy-in, a lot of prep work, may be privacy issue if personalization
  • could ask more from vendors
  • student motivation still an issue

End of Presentations

jumping stoats

Author: Cynthia

Technologist, Librarian, Metadata and Technical Services expert, Educator, Mentor, Web Developer, UXer, Accessibility Advocate, Documentarian

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