Long nav or short nav?: Student responses to two different navigational designs using LibGuides Version 2

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Bowen, Aaron
Ellis, Jake
Chaparro, Barbara S.

Aaron Bowen, Jake Ellis, Barbara Chaparro, Long Nav or Short Nav?: Student Responses to Two Different Navigational Interface Designs in LibGuides Version 2, The Journal of Academic Librarianship, Volume 44, Issue 3, 2018, Pages 391-403.


This study used two successive phases of usability testing to evaluate two different versions of a Communication 430 course LibGuide. The first version of this guide had a longer, more visually complex navigation menu, with more course-related research information directly accessible through this menu. The second version had a shorter, less complex menu that offered less directly accessible information. Twenty-four of the 33 students enrolled in the class (73%) tested either one version or the other for usability in completing tasks that simulate course-related research assignments, ultimately indicating they found the longer navigation menu more usable. This paper may be the first to describe the engagement of students enrolled in a course in testing a LibGuide dedicated specifically to that course. As such, it will be of interest to many academic librarians and instructional design professionals.

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