Students, Faculty, and Staff: Would you like the opportunity to help LIS improve its website and make it work for you?
If you agree to help, we’ll observe and record you performing some tasks on the website.
Sessions will be scheduled from Monday, February 27 through Thursday, March 8 in the Davis Family Library. If you’re interested, please sign up by Thursday February 23rd (sign-ups are now closed), and we’ll respond with a confirmation. Details are below.
The session will take no longer than 45 minutes (15 minutes for explanation and summary, and 30 minutes for testing activities). We’ll ask you to perform specific tasks and we’ll use your responses in our work to improve the site. Your participation will be strictly used within LIS staff and not shared with any outside organization.
Thank you for taking this opportunity to help LIS improve its web presence!
The LIS web team is at it again! In a effort to improve the user experience on the LIS website we are conducting usability testing. For a few weeks you’ll find obtrusive mint green boxes in the corners of the Library, Helpdesk, and LIS pages. These are very short usability surveys. Simply click on “Give Feedback” and then answer each question by clicking the location you’d go to find various pieces of information on each page. Each survey contains only a handful of questions so please participate when you have a moment.
This is an update on the LIS Website Team’s progress toward the User Needs Analysis (UNA) piece of our charge. Right now we’re sharing the results and suggested changes that emerged from the UNA with the LIS Content Managers for the 4 primary LIS Homepages (Curricular Technology, Helpdesk, Library, & LIS).
The UNA results were based on a handful of participants in focus groups and a relatively small number of responses to webpage pop-up surveys (particularly for certain web pages). We are now turning our focus to designing Usability testing (likely based on the format used by the original Website Team). We hope to achieve better participation for this phase of our assessment. We’ll wait to share the results of our UNA until Usability testing is complete and summarized, effectively sharing all the new LIS Website assessment data at once.
I’ve received this question from several people now. Below are two videos from Matt Cutts who works on Google’s Webspam team explaining how tagging content mostly does not affect their search results. This also means that tagging largely will not affect how results appear on Middlebury’s site, since we use Google to provide our search results.
This does not mean that you shouldn’t tag content at all. Tags can still be useful for humans who want to find other posts and pages on a topic. However, if you want your page to be easier to find, your time is better invested in making sure that the content is well written, structured and relevant to a particular topic.
The winning bid on the Archive of Civil War paymaster Erastus Hibbard Phelps, Middlebury Class of 1861, was made at auction by Andy Wentink, Curator of Special Collections & Archives. The archive was one among nearly 350 lots of American History, including Civil War, materials offered by Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati, OH, last Friday morning, December 2. The Phelps Archive comprises 334 letters, 4 diaries (3 from Civil War years), 2 bound volumes including a photo album containing portraits of graduates of the Middlebury Class of 1861, many of which are inscribed to Phelps. The archive also includes two photos of Phelps previous to his years at Middlebury, his paymaster sidearm (a Colt 1851 Navy 36 caliber pistol), what is believed to be his sheepskin winter jacket worn on duty, and a leather documents trunk carried during his service.
The LIS Web team – Dan Frostman, Jess Isler, Richard Jenkins, Matt La France, & Barbara Merz – has been conducting a publicity blitz for chosen features of the LIS web presence. The selection was done in consultation with other LIS staff, with the aim of drawing attention to underutilized good stuff available to the Middlebury community. The features we advertised were:
- Searching: the Midd Google search & special Helpdesk Google search
- Training: Lynda
- Drupal: documentation and new editing interface
- Self-service PIN and password updating
- Media services Event Recording & Film Screening forms
- Middmedia Continue reading
We’re temporarily adding pop-up surveys to four of our main web pages. Not everyone will see a survey, but if you are one of the lucky chosen ones, we urge you please to say “yes” and share your feedback. If you do, at the end of your use of the selected page, you’ll be asked 5 short questions – really basic stuff like “What were looking for?”, “Did you find it?” with a chance to tell us what you hoped to find if you didn’t!
Thank you for your help. The results of this and other user needs analysis activities (UNA) will be shared with LIS in a future posting.
The LIS Website Team.