Date of Award
Library and Information Science
Shimelis G. Assefa, Ph.D.
Carrie L. Forbes, MLS
Library science, User experience, Chat reference, Usability, Libraries
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 point for busy libraries.
Copyright Statement / License for Reuse
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.
Wimer, Kate E., "Decoding Virtual Reference: Using Chat Transcripts to Guide Usability Testing and Improve Web Design" (2017). Library and Information Science: Student Capstone Projects. 3.