Focus Group & Survey Analysis

Apology time: the information from the web redo project’s focus groups and surveys doesn’t translate to recommendations for this group as much as I had hoped. I think this is mostly due to the focus given during that process to the personal home page aspect of the project, which doesn’t directly map to what we’re doing. Also, I didn’t see any information from the LIS focus groups in those documents, which is where I expected most of the feedback about the LIS site to come from. Still, I’ve compiled some of the recommendations from those documents where I thought it was useful to our project.

General Recommendations

  • Search
    • Search for information is a problem. Some interest in the tagging content for search purposes.
    • All expressed frustration with search, difficulty finding information
    • Directory is key. Search is key.
    • search-centered, intelligent searching, categorized info
    • don’t need to know institution to navigate logic, non-hierarchical
    • Search: too much stuff to navigate, search front and center! Big fat search box!
    • need nav + search (people from different perspectives use the site differently)
  • Tagging
    • This group seemed open to the idea of tagging information to improve the search function.
    • Tagging content was raised and while some had no idea what this meant, others expressed concern if people would be willing to take the time to do it.
    • Tagging –standardized
    • How-to tagging, collate – helpful
    • If you can define who gets to tag, then yes.
    • related idea: show what most-visited-pages are within a major dept page
  • Editing
    • They felt that open editing by everyone was not a good idea—favored an admin approver of all changes.
    • Easy for constituents to put up their own information!
    • Change content on their own
    • Rigidity within the system – create your own blog (which is up to date)
  • Content
    • dump print–> web
    • less defined as print migrated to website
    • MUST serve insiders and outsiders, Or two website, multiple websites
    • Lose the lists
    • different designs for each page: inconsistent, confusing, lacking common threads
    • Can’t have too much information if it’s organized well (like Amherst’s integrated course system)
    • Happy medium is rare – consistency is good

LIS Recommendations

  • Library widget for personal homepages
  • students customize courses (to specific semesters) esp. for LIS resources
  • Forms list (every online form possible, searchable)

Top sites for internal audience

  1. library
  2. academic
  3. dept/program
  4. events
  5. banner
  6. lis
  7. homepage
  8. directory
  9. athletics

Faculty comments: Library Access, several respondents mentioned library access and the need to maintain easy access to this site. Also mentioned homepage placement of library link seems strange. Add online journals such as those done by IPE and ISTY.

Staff comments: I don’t know enough about Websites to know how to make them better, and I definitely don’t know how things like wiki, RSS, etc. can improve a site, but perhaps they really can. I do know when a site is frustrating, though, and I have not frequently been frustrated when trying to find something on the Middlebury site.

2008_search_terms – Here’s a spreadsheet showing the top search terms broken out by month and categorized as coming from either internal or external viewers. I think the most interesting thing to note is that “lis” is the top search term for external visitors in September and October. What content on the LIS site is interesting to these people at this time of the year?

Based on how little of the overall information gathered in the web redo requirements process is specific to our project, I recommend that we initiate our own survey / focus group process for the LIS staff to give feedback on the site.

7 thoughts on “Focus Group & Survey Analysis

  1. Jessica Isler

    In the spring I took a class on library Planning, Marketing, and Assessment. The focus of the classwork was on implementing a new system or service. My own project was on implementing a federated search tool for our library (ask Barbara; she knows all about it–more, probably, than she would like! :-)
    I mention it because there were several readings that focused on effective strategies for obtaining useful data from focus groups and surveys. Would anyone care to see the readings added to the resources page?

  2. Elin Waagen

    Yes thanks, Jess. Please add the reading links to our resources page. Could you also summarize the findings – the effective strategies you are referring to – in a blog post?

  3. Elin Waagen

    Ian, thanks so much for the focus group info – and for your summary of the data.
    I propose that we add an agenda item for Thursday:
    LIS staff survey/feedback/focus group

  4. Ian McBride

    Yes, absolutely. Let’s give ourselves 20 minutes and come up with all the questions, then send it out this week.

  5. Jessica Isler

    My Middlebury username and password does not let me view the GoogleDoc. I get “the username and password you entered is incorrect” time and again. Any advice?


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