Monday, July 18, 2011

New library home page test phase 2 completed

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the library is redesigning our home page. We have concluded our second round of surveys in which we asked people to try out a test home page which was based on what we learned in our first survey. Nineteen people responded to the survey—fourteen were students, with ten completely online.

After gathering responses for three weeks, four librarians sat down to discuss our findings. Lindsey and Liz (intern) are working on the page design and function code, Terri brought her perspective from library instruction, and I brought the survey data. All of us are interested in making the page an intuitive entry to the Darling Library.

By intuitive, we mean convenient and easy to navigate. Have you ever wandered into a library or bookstore not knowing exactly what you want but coming out with exactly what you want? We want our home page to provide that kind of opportunity. However, we also know that there are those of you who are not wandering, but are on a mission. Some just need to get started on a research project and others have a specific book or article in mind. These different kinds of needs require different search methods and preferences. No one wants to waste precious time. And we want you to learn something in the search process.

This phase of our survey helped us choose meaningful (we hope) broad categories for labeling tabs and drop down menu items.

We are putting feedback to use on the test home page and gearing up for the final phase of testing—in depth interviews with people from key demographics. We want to watch over their shoulders as they attempt to find a book, an article, ask a question, etc. We hope to be finished with testing and be ready to implement a new and improved home page by August 22nd.

Stay tuned!

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