What is our website for?

What is our website for?

We asked our website visitors what they were using the website for. Their answers show us the top tasks we need to design for.

In 2016 we ran a survey on all of the library web pages that asked our users to identify why they were visiting library.usask.ca that day. The results of this survey help us understand what the top tasks our library user community is coming to our website to do.

We had a low number of responses to the survey (39 total), but it is still useful to think about this data in the context of who took the time to fill out the survey. From the responses, it looks like many people used to survey to complain about what they weren't able to find. We can use this information to make hard-to-find information more visible on the new site. 

The responses can be categorized into 8 types. Our respondents were looking for: 

Library website - all responses


  • Library hours and contact information for people and departments in the library are hard to find. Subject (liaison) librarian information is particularly hard to find. 
  • Demographics showed that undergraduate and graduate students are not dissimilar in their top tasks - both groups were looking for library hours, study room booking, and searching library resources. Faculty members indicate they were almost exclusively using the website to do research (looking for e-journals, databases, etc.)
  • The majority of website users are looking for library resources (22 of 39 responses – 56%)
    • Most commonly sought resource types: e-journals (5), articles (4), data/GIS/gov info (3)

Library Resource types

What does this mean?

While this is a very small subset of our library user community, these results line up with a lot of the anecdotal information I have been hearing for around the library and the top tasks for library users are similar to studies done at other academic libraries. Based on this survey we will include the following in our alpha version of the website:

  • put library hours and contact information up front
  • people are on our page to get access to our library resources - make searching and browsing quick and easy
  • some of our collections are  hard to find or access (iPortal, Data & GIS, Gov Info) - make it easier to find them from the homepage 

What other top tasks have you noticed in your interactions with our library community? Let us know! 

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