In order to ascertain user requirements for our mobile discovery interface, we are going to ask members of Open University staff to try out a prototype mobile search interface we already have. We will recruit some academic staff, and some non-academic staff who are current OU students. They will be asked to use the mobile search interface for any library searches they need to do for an agreed time period. As soon as they complete a search they’ll be asked to send us feedback telling us what the experience was like and what they would want to be able to do with a mobile search tool.
In order to prompt participants to record their experiences we’ll add a link to a feedback form to the mobile search results page. As users will have to be logged in to use the search tool we’ll be able to fill in their name and the date and time for them, so all they have to do is tell us where they undertook their search, how they found the experience and what sort of functionality they would like on the search page and results page.
Participants will be asked to use their own mobile phones or small tablets where possible, but will be able to borrow a mobile device if they don’t have a suitable one.
The results of this study will inform our development of the Mobile Discovery tool and the mobile authentication bookmarklet and will be followed up with further user testing later in the project.