Search results are the new black

Deirdre Costello, Sr. UX Researcher, EBSCO Info Services, @deirdre_lyon

The Projects

  • Secondary research — lit review of student, doctor & public library patron habits
  • Video diary study –  hs students self-reporting their research habits & preferences, using Go Pros (selfie generation)
  • Contextual inquiry (primary method.) – one-on-one sessions students, doctors & public library patrons discussing their research habits (participant-led); tools, services, & products online.


  • Academic — hs, college, & grad students; focus research workflow
  • Medical — med students, residents, physicians; focus: searching at point-of-care (similar to grad students)
  • Public — Focus: engaging with the library online (avid power-users; and those who don’t use public library, how they’re getting the services the pub library offers elsewhere)

Audience: goals & emotional states that users are bringing to the search experience; contextual inquiry tells us a lot about emotional state

Students search to: find an overview (anxiety involved); narrow down their topic (what topic looks easiest/broadest); find citable sources Continue reading “Search results are the new black”