Tag Archives: requirements

Criteria: What do we need for a LIS website?

This is a place to coordinate discussion about the criteria we desire for the LIS site. We’ve created two sections in the wiki to store this information:

How can we combine these sections? Do we need to combine these sections?

What information from our own personal views are missing from these sections?

What information from our survey results is missing from these sections?

What information from the other analytics and analysis we’ve conducted is missing from these sections?

What information in these sections should be removed or is no longer applicable knowing what we know now?

How do these criteria allow us to meet our goals and achieve our vision?

Survey question ideas

These don’t really stand on their own, and they need to be revised for clarity, but I hope they’ll help us in our discussion, at least.


Your area:
Your workgroup:

1. How important is it for you to reach each of these audiences with your web content?
(Circle one):  Not at all important X X X X X Very important
(Circle one):  Not at all important X X X X X Very important
(Circle one):  Not at all important X X X X X Very important
(Circle one):  Not at all important X X X X X Very important
Prospective students:
(Circle one):  Not at all important X X X X X Very important
Other (Who:                      ):
(Circle one):  Not at all important X X X X X Very important

2. What is the most essential feature of your department that you want to convey most immediately on the web?  Share URLs of content on existing LIS site, if applicable.

3. What other features of your department do you want to convey on the web?  Share URLs of content on existing LIS site, if applicable.

4. Is there content from your department on the existing LIS web site that is outdated or irrelevant?  If so, please share URLs if possible.

5. If you add content to the current LIS web site, please tell us how easy you feel it is to add and update content.
(Circle one):  Not at all easy X X X X X Very easy

Creating effective surveys

Summarizing Markless on surveys:
A major pitfall of surveys is that they “often project designers’ preconceptions out to potential respondents” and thereby dilute the value of the responses. General tips: Give clear instructions for answering the questions! Don’t use library/technology jargon! Some types of questions we can use:

Closed questions: Questions with several answer choices (with check boxes), and with a catch-all at the end.
e.g. I will use the LIS website to:
Find resources X
Get technology help X (etc….)
Anything else? Please say what! X (with space for answer)
Open questions: May best follow closed questions, i.e. “Why is this?”
Simple checklists (with check boxes), and a catch-all at the end:
e.g. Why did you use the website today? Check all that apply
Find resources X
Look for information X
Get help from a librarian X (etc…)
Other, please say what! (with space for reply) X
Likert scales: Highly likely/highly desired with boxes to highly unlikely/highly undesired
e.g. I will return to use the website in the future to do X
select one box
Highly likely  X  X  X  X  X  X  Highly unlikely
Thurlstone scale: tracks agreement or disagreement with the question
e.g. I found what I needed on the website today X yes X no
Semantic differential: quantitative measures of topics usually addressed through qualitative means
e.g. The library website is
select one box
Good  X  X  X  X  X  Bad
Guttman scales: statements arranged in sequence to gauge strength of respondents’ view
e.g. Shifting LIS communications to web based tools:
select one box
Web based commun. will catch on quickly/completely replace current tools X
Web based commun. will require some adjustment, but will mostly work X
Web based commun. will be hard to sell, may or may not work X
Web based commun. will never work for our organization X

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.