Feedback on outline for new library web page

Hi everyone in LIS,

We have a preliminary outline of content, otherwise known as Information Architecture or IA, for the new Library web page (aka the new version of http://go.middlebury.edu/lib).  We need your feedback.

If you’re interested, please take a look (open this Word doc: ia-lis-lib-2).  Then, post your comments here (log in to this blog at the upper-right, then leave a reply at the bottom of this post).  Please comment in the next few days.  We must get our structure into Drupal so that editors can begin adding content.  Given our time constraints, we won’t be able to respond to every comment, but we will consider them all when we make our final decisions.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Mechanics of the Word document:  For the most intelligible display, when you open the document, select View>Outline.  Click on the “+” to open or hide the contents below each  heading.
  • Contents that sit below the green headings might be on a subpage.
  • The headings (in green, or black, or blue!) represent content groupings, not finalized names.   For example, you might not see a link called “Databases” on the new page.
  • Some content will just be a link to another page.  Some content will be maintained on another page and displayed both there and here.
  • Think of what the user (students, faculty and other researchers) will need and expect.  Remember that what we expect as library staff sometimes will differ from what researchers will need and expect.
  • Usability studies show that some researchers will go straight to a search window rather than browsing through menus.  So, we plan to use tagging and keywords to make our content easy to find via Search.
  • This outline is based on content on our current site, content on other library sites that we like, usability studies done at other institutions, and surveys and analysis of search stats done here.  Once we have the new site up and running (after the big January launch), we plan to do some usability testing.  In other words, what you see in January will be a work in progress.  If you make a suggestion for a change now and you don’t see it in January, you might still see it later if the need is verified by user testing.
  • Since the IA document is all text, it will be difficult for you to visualize what the site might look like when it’s done.  The Resources section of the LIS Website Team’s wiki lists  “Sites to Check Out.”  Each of these sites has some design feature that we like.  Reviewing these sites might help you imagine what we’re aiming for.
  • The LIS Website Team’s LIS Website Recommendations page explains where the Library page fits in with other LIS site content.

Thank you in advance for your time and your comments!

9 thoughts on “Feedback on outline for new library web page

  1. Arabella

    I began this thinking I was going to comment on “too much About” – link in the left menu, link/content down the page, etc. And I do think there is too much “about the Libraries.” It looks like duplicate content all over the place (Contact info, for one). That’s comment one.

    But then I was looking at some of the other library links in your Resource page and see ASU has a Library Toolbar for IE, Firefox or Safari. (Flash ‘ad’ in the lower left corner of http://lib.asu.edu viewed at 9:06 am Eastern on Oct. 16th.) Could we get something like that??? In a year or two maybe?

    Reply
  2. Terry Simpkins

    Hi all,
    Nice job – thank you for all the thought you’ve put into this. My first impression comments:

    1) I think ILL should have a tab under the PORTAL section – heavily used service.
    2) PORTAL: I’m unsure why we’d break down Articles into 2 sections. We live in an interdisciplinary world.
    3) PORTAL: Why preference videos? Why not CDs? Why not e-books? Or why not leave out specific formats and rely searching specific collections in MIDCAT if necessary? (All of these are also already under the “Find…” section.)
    4) Collections: a) Browsing, Fac Authors, and “Media” could be well described as part of the Main Library section. b) Reserves has a tab on the portal, does it really need another one here? c) What exactly does “Media” mean? I’ve noticed that we tend to use call the Visual Materials collection the “Media Collection” which is pretty inaccurate (audio recordings are media; online stuff is media), but in general it’s a non-descriptive word with many interpretations. If we want to highlight the video collection, let’s call it that (sorry for the digression into labeling).
    5) Equipment: I’d rather see this scoped within MIDCAT (similar to video and music, etc.), but failing that, I can see the utility of placing this here
    6) Under FIND ARTICLES, BOOKS, etc.: OK, where’s this XXX collection you list? How’d I miss that?

    Reply
  3. Jess Isler

    I tend to agree with Terry on his Equipment item #5–having equipment scoped in the catalog would be ideal, but having it Collections is okay.

    My additional 2 cents on the idea of putting a tab for Equipment on the portal search: Regardless of whether or not it’s in Collections, I think equipment should definitely NOT be included as a tab in the search portal. I think it makes sense to have library resources, databases, and services in the search portal. I view equipment more as a technology resource, and think it would be out of place next to the other resources we will include there. It shouldn’t be given the equal prominence as proprietary databases or our library catalog (especially since equipment can already be searched VIA the catalog…), especially if it’s included in other places on the Library page (which it will be). Let’s not waste real estate on videos in the search portal, either. There are many other ways to get to videos (via Midcat, subject guides, probably also elsewhere on the site). I’d be way more keen on seeing GoogleScholar as a search portal tab than either equipment or videos!

    I also like Terry’s idea of moving Browsing, Fac Authors, and Media into the Main lib section of the Collections page. That not only seems more concise but also more appropriate since those resources are much smaller in scope and size than the other collections included there.

    Thanks to you and Bryan for all your hard work so far! It’s going to be such an improvement!

    Reply
  4. Barbara Merz

    Just a quick explanation of the 2 tabs in the portal for articles. Since there isn’t a single integrated article search, a couple of things we’re considering are Academic One File for arts & humanities and Pubmed for sciences. Each tab could also include a link of the type “For more in-depth coverage of specific topics, consult the appropriate library Subject Guide. ”
    It is also possible that as well, or instead, we could use a Google Scholar tab. If you have an opinion on that, here’s the place to share it!!

    Reply
  5. Bryan Carson

    Just a quick response about videos. Since it’s not very straightforward for MIDCAT users to “find videos” (which can mean a number of things), I think we want a video tab. Finding “movies” or “DVDs” has been a common question we get. Let’s put it right out there. I seem to remember this discussion when we implemented III, and the videos tab is helpful there. Let’s feature it more.

    Reply
  6. Carrie Macfarlane Post author

    That’s right, we made changes based on: feedback, our new understanding of the left-hand menu function, and limitations of our Drupal implementation that we learned about as we experimented with it.

    Collection Management will go under “Library Departments.” I worked on this a lot over the weekend, and Bryan worked on it a lot yesterday. Now Bryan is out unexpectedly. I’ll see what I can do without him. We will notify librarians when the site is ready for them to create their pages.

    Reply
  7. Brenda

    I’m still fairly confused by all the dif places to review (the wiki, the word doc, the midd2 mockup) and I have a little trouble deciphering some things on my own and would prefer a demo by some of the team. But one thing that definitely doesn’t make sense to me is the Library Collections page – Main Library as show here: http://midd2.middlebury.edu/academics/lib/collections/mainlib

    I was expecting to see brief descriptions of the various types of collections (gov docs, vt coll, periodicals, foreign language, browsing, microfilms, etc. Instead I get a department listing. We already have a spot for that. Departments aren’t collections.

    Also, I’m pleased to see Subject Guides prominently featured but I don’t know that it makes sense to have a link that says research databases that appears to just be another way of getting to the subject guides. There’s tons on the subject guides that aren’t databases. Maybe instead it should be a Research Databases A-Z that links to the new title list. More comments later.

    Reply
  8. Carrie Macfarlane Post author

    Thanks for your comments, Brenda. As you may have seen, we’ll be giving a quick update on the LIS site in this afternoon’s all-staff meeting. In addition, I’ve put it on our list of requested agenda items for an ACS meeting.

    The Main Library collections page isn’t finished yet. There will be a description as you described. The reason for putting contact info at the top of the page is that we expected some people will look for it on the Collections page rather than the Departments page. You’re right, perhaps we don’t need redundancy, especially since users might just use “Search” when they’re looking for contact info. We’re trying to anticipate how different users might look for information; perhaps we’re not guessing right. We’ll think more about this.

    The contents of the “Research Databases” section depend in part on how much we can integrate SubjectsPlus into the site. We definitely need the A-Z list of databases. We’d also like this to be the home for New and Trial Databases, and maybe even Most Popular Databases at some point. We included “By subject” because there was so much distress when we removed it from the current CMS. Perhaps with “Subject Guides” in the sidebar, if we don’t include “By subject” this time around, no one will miss it. We’ll think more about this too!

    Reply

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