Sensible library website development

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Presentation at Internet Librarian 2012 on sensible library website development.

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  • so for the next forty or so minutes, i’m going to be talking about sensible library website development...\n
  • to start with, here’s what i know...\n\ni know that \n\nAll our libraries are unique\nWe serve different communities\nWe have different strenghts\nWe have different staff with their own unique skills as well as challenges\nWe have different branding requirements and guidelines\nWe have different technology capabilities and infrastructures\nAll of this is a given\n\nNow keeping all of that in mind, i’d like to start by telling you about a little experiment I did on twitter last week as I was preparing for this presentation\n\nI asked…a simple question: \n\n\n
  • i went on twitter and asked a pretty simple question:\n\ni asked:\n\nWHY does your library have a website?\n\nwhat i was trying to do was get at what motivates each of our libraries to have websites\n
  • these are all pretty standard, unsurprising goals, right?\n\nis there anything on this list that anyone would DISAGREE with as a motivation for having a website for your library?\n\nanyone? anything?\n\ni didn’t think so either.\n
  • so you’re probably seeing where I’m going with this...\n\ni think that while we are all unique little snowflakes, \n\nit turns out that we aren’t actually all THAT unique when it comes to our motivations for having websites...\n\nSo that's the place from where I'd like to start\n\nI'd like to talk about how those similar goals and motivations actually mean that we can share and collaborate a lot more than we do\n\nand how we can borrow from a set of good practices when it comes to designing our websites\n\n
  • so for the rest of this session, i’d like to talk about four things concerning the design of library websites:\n\nscope\ncontent\nnavigation\n\nand \n\ntesting\n\n
  • now if you’ve done any sort of project management, you know that scope refers to the parameters of the project: \n\nwhat it will include\nwhat it won’t include\n\nthe same has to be done for website planning, whether you are building a brand new website or embarking on a website redesign project\n\ni’m going to go ahead and make the assumption that most of us already HAVE websites for our libraries, so if we’re doing anything, we’re maybe redesigning\n\ncan i see a show of hands, how many of you are working on a website redesign or planning on doing so sometime in the nearish future?\n\nright, that’s a lot of us.\n\nnow of those people who had their hands up, how many of you have gone through or are planning to go through an exercise to determine the scope of your website?\n\nwow, assuming you’re all telling the truth, that is awesome!\n\ni find that most people skip the scope test because they just assume that the redesigned site should include about the same amount and type of stuff as the existing site.\n\nso good for you guys for recognizing that scope is an important part of the SENSIBLE website design process.\n\nso let’s talk about website scope for a bit, shall we?\n\n
  • sadly, most library websites are a big old mess. \n\na junk drawer of everything anyone could possibly want to know about the library \n\nand about a 1000 other things that no one has ever asked.\n\nI’ve worked with a lot of libraries \n\nand I can safely say that most libraries tend to take a just-in-case approach to web design.\n\nthat is, they put every single thing they can possibly think of on their website…just in case someone ever needs to find it.\n\nit's the website as junk drawer, really.\n\n\n
  • so i am a fan of the smaller is better approach. \n\nthat is, (CLICK) less is not more...\n\n\n
  • so i am a fan of the smaller is better approach. \n\nthat is, (CLICK) less is not more...\n\n\n
  • less is actually less.\n\nand that is a good thing!\n\n\n
  • take a moment to consider the signal to noise ratio of your website.\n\nhow much of your content, how many of your pages are people actually using? \n\nThe stuff that’s not getting used is a whole lot of noise to someone who visits your site and tries to just get something done.\n\nsure, some of that noise you need -- these are called business needs, really, and they represent the needs of your library. \n\nyour patrons probably don’t care to read every library policy, but the truth is, you need to put them somewhere where they are accessible for everyone. so, you put them on your website. and that’s fine, mostly. \n\nbut pay attention to how much content you put on your website that represents your needs versus your business needs and keep in mind that a lot of that stuff comes off as noise to your users.\n
  • so here’s another way to think about it. \n\nthese numbers represent the amount of great to useless content on a website. grey being useless, pink being good, and green being varying levels of great.\n\nif we remove the 27% that’s useless...\n
  • we’re upping the good content by that much, which is already a HUGE step in the right direction.\n
  • when it comes down to it, it’s better for half your website to be absolutely awesome than all of it be bland.\n\nand it’s better for half your audience to be super excited about your site than all of them be totally apathetic.\n
  • and at the very peak of the pyramid, your website starts being a community portal\n\nthis is where the library website is a serious knowledge bank of community information and interaction\n\nwe might all dream of our sites setting to this stage, but i’d wager that most of us aren’t even close!\n
  • the basics occupy fully the bottom half of the pyramid because you have to get the basics right before you can aim for the rest.\n\ni like to think of it as the website equivalent of maslow’s hierarchy of needs \n\nwhere the basic physiological stuff comes before all the lofty stuff like self-actualization, or in this case, participation.\n\nin web terms, you can’t get to the participatory level, the level where your community is using your site to actively engage and even create content, if they can’t even find the basics like your hours or how to sign up for a library card.\n
  • to help you think about this, take a look at a little experiment a couple of colleagues and I did. \n\nThis is the work of Aaron Schmidt, Nate Hill, and I\n\nWe built a template for a single-page library website and called it the one pager.\n\nas the name suggests, one-pager is a library website that is contained entirely in one page.\n\nwe designed and built it as a bit of an experiment, but also because it’s based on all the principles I’ve already talked about, principles that we seriously believe in.\n\none of which is the idea that most of the high-use content on most library websites can actually fit on one page.\n\n\n\n
  • we released the code for one-pager a while ago and recently found out that one library actually put it to use and a few more are working on implementing it, which is pretty cool.\n\nso if this is an idea that excites you, check it out. you can download the code and try it yourself. \n\n
  • so less is less.\n\naiming for less is a good thing. \naiming to get the basics right is a good thing. \naiming for less content is a good thing. \n\nbut how do you start scoping your site in this way?\n\ni have a couple of pieces of advice to share on that before we move on to content... \n
  • the first is that you really should design for mobile devices first.\n\nwhy?\n\nbecause designing for mobility requires you to really think about the content and functionality you are going to serve up on your site.\n\nit requires you to pare things back to what you and your users consider essential functionality and limit yourself to just that content.\n\nthat is a great way to scope your actual site, too.\n\nif you wouldn’t put it on your mobile version, think really hard about incorporating it into your regular site, as well. \n\n
  • for more on this topic, this is a great book:\n\nMobile First by Luke Ro-Blew-Ski\n
  • So, the other piece of advice regarding scoping your site is to focus on your users’ critical tasks.\n\nI already mentioned that just a minute ago when talking about designing for mobile first.\n\nso what are critical tasks?\n\nthey are the top reasons why your users visit your site.\n\nmy little twitter poll uncovered a lot of those critical tasks, right?\n\n- catalogue searching\n- accessing online resources\n- perfoming account functions like putting books on hold\n- checking branch hours\n\nstuff like that\n\nso when you have a really solid sense of what your users’ critical tasks are and design for those first, you’re well-placed to just focus on that critical stuff and leave aside everything else\n\n\n\n\n
  • so how do you determine critical tasks?\n\na few ways:\n\n1. you can ask your users. \n\nask them to complete a one-question survey that asks a simple question: list the top three reasons why you visit the library website.\n\nor you could interview them to ask the same question. \n\nor hold a focus group or two.\n\n2. you could also use a heat-mapping application on your homepage and see what the top three things are that users click on from your home page.\n\n3. my least favourite method to get the same information is to ask staff, but it is also an option. Like hold a brainstorming meeting with staff to come up with a list. this isn’t as powerful an option as asking users, but it IS an option.\n
  • ok, on to content... \n\n
  • we know that the kind of reading that happens online is FUNCTIONAL READING.\n\nweb users don’t read content. they skim it. they scan it. they don’t read pages from top to bottom.\n\nthat’s the reality.\n\nwe’ve known this for a while.\n
  • you probably know from your own use of the web that being confronted with large amounts of words just doesn’t work. you don’t read them all. you scan them to find what you want.\n\nso as web content people, how do we deal with this?\n\nwe have a few strategies.\n
  • the first is to \n\nremove unnecessary...\n
  • words\n\nyou’ve probably heard it said that when you are writing copy for your website, \nyou should write what you want to say.\nthen cut it in half\nthen cut it in half again\n\nkeep your content as concise as you possibly can\n\nthis is way harder than it sounds, but the pay off is worth it \n
  • another strategy for dealing with functional reading is to think change the way you think about your website. \n\nyour website should be your FAQ.\n\ncollect the questions your users ask you most frequently. this is the same as coming up with critical tasks. \n\nlet those critical tasks or FAQs guide you when you are planning and writing your web content.\n
  • Another strategy that goes along with that last one?\n\nThink about your website as information not documents. \n\nand you present that information in bite-sized chunks. not in verbose text.\n\n\n
  • yet another strategy for coping with functional reading is adopting the inverted pyramid when you write copy for your website.\n
  • this is a heat map that used eye tracking software to track the pattern of web reading on a web page. \n\nas you can see (click)\n\nthis is the pattern that people read on the web.\n\n(click)\n\nthere’s your inverted pyramid.\n\nhow do you achieve the inverted pyramid in your web copy? you start with your key point. whatever your essential message is, that goes at the top.\n
  • this is a heat map that used eye tracking software to track the pattern of web reading on a web page. \n\nas you can see (click)\n\nthis is the pattern that people read on the web.\n\n(click)\n\nthere’s your inverted pyramid.\n\nhow do you achieve the inverted pyramid in your web copy? you start with your key point. whatever your essential message is, that goes at the top.\n
  • Here’s another strategy.\n\nwhat stands out here?\n\nand why does it stand out?\n\nyep, because the text is bolded.\n\nit’s such a simple stylistic element but it works wonders on screens.\n
  • I mentioned bite-sized chunks earlier, another thing that works with those is really eye-catching headers.\n
  • here’s a before and after example i love \n\nthis is the page before...\n
  • and this is the page after.\n\ni love this example because it follows all the guidelines i’ve talked about...\n\nremoved words\nadopts the inverted pyramid style\nhighlights key concepts\nbolds the important stuff\nit users headers and bite-sized chunks of information\n
  • so, all of that was about functional reading. i’ve probably made it pretty clear how important i think it is to build our content with functional reading in mind\n\nbut there’s another piece to the content puzzle that i also want to talk about and that’s the issue of just how to make your content plain awesome.\n\nand one of the best ways I know to make your content awesome is to \n\ntreat your website like a conversation. a conversation between you and your users.\n\nthis one sounds so easy, but i get it, it’s not. it’s difficult to accomplish. \n\nSo, a few tricks to keep your content conversational:\n
  • what’s wrong with this sentence?\n
  • that’s right, it’s written in the passive voice and pages must not be written by passive voiced writers!\n\nthat is a surefire way to make them sound as UNCONVERSATIONAL as possible!\n
  • instead, write in the active voice.\n\nAll the time. everytime.\n\nthere’s this notion out there, probably gleaned from early undergraduate writing, that if you write in the passive voice, you actually sound authoritative.\n\nwhile that might be true, it also just makes you sound unfriendly and stuffy.\n
  • here’s a rewrite of that example you saw a second earlier.\n\ninstead of All of the issues of the newsletter can be viewed...\n\nwe now have YOU can read all issues of our newsletter right here!\n\nso much friendlier and more conversational, right?\n
  • which brings me to my last point here, i swear i’ll stop banging this drum.\n\nif your web copy is supposed to be a conversation between you and your users, you should go ahead and use the right pronouns\n\nso the library is WE\n\nand\n\nCLICK the user is YOU\n\ni’d like you to do a little experiment for me when you go home and take a look at one page on your website and use these principles to rewrite the content and see what you come up with.\n\nand let me know because i totally geek out on web content stuff!\n
  • ok, navigation\n\n
  • first of all\n\nnavigation essentially needs to serve these purposes:\n\ntell your user the name of the site\ntell your user the name of the page\ntell your user where they are on the site\ntell your user where they can go next\ntell your user how they can search\n\nwhat do these things sound like to you?\n\nthey are about orientation and placefulness. \n\nlet’s look at a few library examples...\n
  • here’s the events page for Salt Lake City Public Library\n\nhow does this site score in terms of orientation and placefulness?\n\nCLICK well, you have the site name\nCLICK and you have the page name which also serves to tell you where you are within the site\nCLICK you see where you can go\nCLICK and you see instantly how you can search\n\nthis is, not surprisingly, one of my favourite library websites and they obviously score really highly in terms of orientation and placefulness.\n
  • here’s the events page for Salt Lake City Public Library\n\nhow does this site score in terms of orientation and placefulness?\n\nCLICK well, you have the site name\nCLICK and you have the page name which also serves to tell you where you are within the site\nCLICK you see where you can go\nCLICK and you see instantly how you can search\n\nthis is, not surprisingly, one of my favourite library websites and they obviously score really highly in terms of orientation and placefulness.\n
  • here’s the events page for Salt Lake City Public Library\n\nhow does this site score in terms of orientation and placefulness?\n\nCLICK well, you have the site name\nCLICK and you have the page name which also serves to tell you where you are within the site\nCLICK you see where you can go\nCLICK and you see instantly how you can search\n\nthis is, not surprisingly, one of my favourite library websites and they obviously score really highly in terms of orientation and placefulness.\n
  • here’s the events page for Salt Lake City Public Library\n\nhow does this site score in terms of orientation and placefulness?\n\nCLICK well, you have the site name\nCLICK and you have the page name which also serves to tell you where you are within the site\nCLICK you see where you can go\nCLICK and you see instantly how you can search\n\nthis is, not surprisingly, one of my favourite library websites and they obviously score really highly in terms of orientation and placefulness.\n
  • here’s the events page for Vancouver Public Library, another of my very favourite library websites...\n\nhow does the VPL site score in terms of orientation and placefulness?\n\nCLICK well, you have the site name\nCLICK and you have the page name\nCLICK you see both where you are and where you can go\nCLICK and you see instantly how you can search\n\nagain, five out of five!\n\nnow these are both large library systems that have a lot of muscle behind their web development efforts, but as you can imagine, a lot of libraries don’t actually do this well. \n\nbut we won’t dwell on the negatives, we’re just here to look at the positives\n\nand speaking of positives\nthere are a couple of non-library websites we can look at too...\n
  • here’s the events page for Vancouver Public Library, another of my very favourite library websites...\n\nhow does the VPL site score in terms of orientation and placefulness?\n\nCLICK well, you have the site name\nCLICK and you have the page name\nCLICK you see both where you are and where you can go\nCLICK and you see instantly how you can search\n\nagain, five out of five!\n\nnow these are both large library systems that have a lot of muscle behind their web development efforts, but as you can imagine, a lot of libraries don’t actually do this well. \n\nbut we won’t dwell on the negatives, we’re just here to look at the positives\n\nand speaking of positives\nthere are a couple of non-library websites we can look at too...\n
  • here’s the events page for Vancouver Public Library, another of my very favourite library websites...\n\nhow does the VPL site score in terms of orientation and placefulness?\n\nCLICK well, you have the site name\nCLICK and you have the page name\nCLICK you see both where you are and where you can go\nCLICK and you see instantly how you can search\n\nagain, five out of five!\n\nnow these are both large library systems that have a lot of muscle behind their web development efforts, but as you can imagine, a lot of libraries don’t actually do this well. \n\nbut we won’t dwell on the negatives, we’re just here to look at the positives\n\nand speaking of positives\nthere are a couple of non-library websites we can look at too...\n
  • here’s the events page for Vancouver Public Library, another of my very favourite library websites...\n\nhow does the VPL site score in terms of orientation and placefulness?\n\nCLICK well, you have the site name\nCLICK and you have the page name\nCLICK you see both where you are and where you can go\nCLICK and you see instantly how you can search\n\nagain, five out of five!\n\nnow these are both large library systems that have a lot of muscle behind their web development efforts, but as you can imagine, a lot of libraries don’t actually do this well. \n\nbut we won’t dwell on the negatives, we’re just here to look at the positives\n\nand speaking of positives\nthere are a couple of non-library websites we can look at too...\n
  • here’s the events page for Vancouver Public Library, another of my very favourite library websites...\n\nhow does the VPL site score in terms of orientation and placefulness?\n\nCLICK well, you have the site name\nCLICK and you have the page name\nCLICK you see both where you are and where you can go\nCLICK and you see instantly how you can search\n\nagain, five out of five!\n\nnow these are both large library systems that have a lot of muscle behind their web development efforts, but as you can imagine, a lot of libraries don’t actually do this well. \n\nbut we won’t dwell on the negatives, we’re just here to look at the positives\n\nand speaking of positives\nthere are a couple of non-library websites we can look at too...\n
  • this is airbnb, my favourite site to find places to stay all over the world\n\nairbnb is currently my FAVOURITE website in terms of design and elegant interactions. I could go on about it but i won’t, i’ll just encourage you guys to take a look when you get a second\n\nnow in terms of navigation, airbnb is pretty simple.\n\nCLICK you’ve got your site name\nCLICK you’ve got your page name, in this case, it’s our search results\nthis also tells us where we are on the site.\nCLICK the bulk of the content on the page is where you can go, including the facets on the left\nCLICK and our page title also is our search box\n\nit doesn’t look like much in this screenshot, but this really is a beautifully designed and built site overall and their navigation works impeccably as well\n\n
  • this is airbnb, my favourite site to find places to stay all over the world\n\nairbnb is currently my FAVOURITE website in terms of design and elegant interactions. I could go on about it but i won’t, i’ll just encourage you guys to take a look when you get a second\n\nnow in terms of navigation, airbnb is pretty simple.\n\nCLICK you’ve got your site name\nCLICK you’ve got your page name, in this case, it’s our search results\nthis also tells us where we are on the site.\nCLICK the bulk of the content on the page is where you can go, including the facets on the left\nCLICK and our page title also is our search box\n\nit doesn’t look like much in this screenshot, but this really is a beautifully designed and built site overall and their navigation works impeccably as well\n\n
  • this is airbnb, my favourite site to find places to stay all over the world\n\nairbnb is currently my FAVOURITE website in terms of design and elegant interactions. I could go on about it but i won’t, i’ll just encourage you guys to take a look when you get a second\n\nnow in terms of navigation, airbnb is pretty simple.\n\nCLICK you’ve got your site name\nCLICK you’ve got your page name, in this case, it’s our search results\nthis also tells us where we are on the site.\nCLICK the bulk of the content on the page is where you can go, including the facets on the left\nCLICK and our page title also is our search box\n\nit doesn’t look like much in this screenshot, but this really is a beautifully designed and built site overall and their navigation works impeccably as well\n\n
  • this is airbnb, my favourite site to find places to stay all over the world\n\nairbnb is currently my FAVOURITE website in terms of design and elegant interactions. I could go on about it but i won’t, i’ll just encourage you guys to take a look when you get a second\n\nnow in terms of navigation, airbnb is pretty simple.\n\nCLICK you’ve got your site name\nCLICK you’ve got your page name, in this case, it’s our search results\nthis also tells us where we are on the site.\nCLICK the bulk of the content on the page is where you can go, including the facets on the left\nCLICK and our page title also is our search box\n\nit doesn’t look like much in this screenshot, but this really is a beautifully designed and built site overall and their navigation works impeccably as well\n\n
  • a last example is one we all probably know very well\n\nthis is apple dot com\n\nCLICK our site name isn’t a name at all, just a symbol, but a powerful one that needs no words\nCLICK we’ve got our page name\nCLICK we’ve got an indication of where we are on the site\nCLICK here’s where we can go next\nCLICK and here’s where we can search\n\nso, if you keep in mind that your navigation needs to serve those five purposes, you’re in good shape.\n\na couple of final pointers about designing navigation...\n
  • a last example is one we all probably know very well\n\nthis is apple dot com\n\nCLICK our site name isn’t a name at all, just a symbol, but a powerful one that needs no words\nCLICK we’ve got our page name\nCLICK we’ve got an indication of where we are on the site\nCLICK here’s where we can go next\nCLICK and here’s where we can search\n\nso, if you keep in mind that your navigation needs to serve those five purposes, you’re in good shape.\n\na couple of final pointers about designing navigation...\n
  • a last example is one we all probably know very well\n\nthis is apple dot com\n\nCLICK our site name isn’t a name at all, just a symbol, but a powerful one that needs no words\nCLICK we’ve got our page name\nCLICK we’ve got an indication of where we are on the site\nCLICK here’s where we can go next\nCLICK and here’s where we can search\n\nso, if you keep in mind that your navigation needs to serve those five purposes, you’re in good shape.\n\na couple of final pointers about designing navigation...\n
  • a last example is one we all probably know very well\n\nthis is apple dot com\n\nCLICK our site name isn’t a name at all, just a symbol, but a powerful one that needs no words\nCLICK we’ve got our page name\nCLICK we’ve got an indication of where we are on the site\nCLICK here’s where we can go next\nCLICK and here’s where we can search\n\nso, if you keep in mind that your navigation needs to serve those five purposes, you’re in good shape.\n\na couple of final pointers about designing navigation...\n
  • a last example is one we all probably know very well\n\nthis is apple dot com\n\nCLICK our site name isn’t a name at all, just a symbol, but a powerful one that needs no words\nCLICK we’ve got our page name\nCLICK we’ve got an indication of where we are on the site\nCLICK here’s where we can go next\nCLICK and here’s where we can search\n\nso, if you keep in mind that your navigation needs to serve those five purposes, you’re in good shape.\n\na couple of final pointers about designing navigation...\n
  • it’s important to match...\n\ndisorienting\n\n\n
  • also keep in mind that you navigation is not your org chart\n\nso many of us design and build our sites along organizational lines, with sections of sites essentially corresponding to our different departments\n\nhere’s where i have to remind you that your users don’t care about your org chart!\nit’s not personal, it’s just not what’s top of mind for them\n\nso don’t ever design your navigation along the same lines as your org chart because that will NOT be intuitive to your users\n
  • and finally, if you have any links on your site labelled “CLICK HERE”, please go home and take a blow torch to them.\n\nSame goes for links labelled “MORE INFO”\n\nwhy? \n\nbecause CLICK HERE AND MORE INFO are totally problematic for anyone using adaptive technology, like a screen reader, to start with.\n\nALSO? links should be descriptive. They should tell your users what they will get if they click on them. \n\nthis is one of the earliest lessons we learned in web usability but it’s shocking how many times we still see these unhelpful links on websites.\n\nso let’s go home and kill them all with fire.\n
  • ok finally\n\nthe last thing i’d like to say about sensible library website development\n\nis about\n\n
  • so usability testing runs the gamut from short, quick and easy, to long and involved.\n\nwhile I’ve both done both types of test and everything in between, I like to talk about the easy version, because people don’t often realize how easy usability testing can actually be.\n\nso, usability testing in five words?\n
  • watch people use your site.\n\nand it can often take just five minutes to do so.\n\nthe bottom line here is that you can gain more information, data, and clarity on the usability (or lack thereof) of your website from watching people interact with your site than you can from reading every usability book ever published.\n\nnow, some criteria to keep in mind when you’re thinking about usability testing.\n
  • the first is we are not our patrons. we are different from those who use our libraries and use our website. \n\nso don’t test librarians or staff, test ACTUAL users.\n\nlibrarians or library staff have a level of familiarity with your site. \n\nalso? they are not your primary user group. they might be one of your user groups, but they aren’t the ones you need to worry about. \n\nif you are designing your library website with librarians in mind, you’re doing it wrong. \n\nso keep in mind that you have to test with library users, not librarians.\n
  • the second piece of advice here is that it five testers is enough for any given test.\n\nonce you’ve done three tests, you’ll will start to see patterns.\n\nand once you go over five, you start to see a lot of repetition, so I never use more than five subjects.\n
  • the third thing to remember -- there’s no such thing as a usability test that’s too SMALL\n\nbut there IS such a thing as a usability test that’s too BIG\n\nusability tests work best when they test small, discrete things. \n\nthey can get out of control and unweildy when they test many things.\n\nif you are working on a big website project, whether it’s the development of a new site or a redesign of an existing site, you probably have a lot to test. \n\na good thing to do in such a case is to make a comprehensive list of all the things you want to test on the site, then chunk them out so that each round of testing doesn’t test any more than three things at once.\n\nthat will make it easier for your testers, certainly\n\nand it will also make it easier for you to process your test results and make changes.\n
  • the fourth thing to keep in mind, especially if you follow that last piece of advice and break your tests into small, discrete chunks\n\nis to test early and often\n\nthe best websites out there don’t redesign at all -- they test constantly and make iterative changes instead.\n\nwhen’s the last time amazon did a massive redesign?\n\nnever, that’s when.\n\nthat’s because they are constantly testing and making small changes to benefit their users.\n
  • and the last thing i will say with respect to testing is that it’s really important to have a script!\n\ngiving testers even slightly different instructions could affect the outcome of the tests. \n\nScripts ensure that all testers receive the same directions and take the guesswork out of conducting the test. \n\nA script will allow you to concentrate on observing the tester and making him/her feel comfortable, rather than forcing you to think about what you're going to say. \n\nsome things that should go into your test script are\n\n- an introduction. tell them who you are and what your role will be during the test\n\n- be clear about the purpose of the test. Reiterate that watching him/her perform the tasks you present will help you and your organization gain a better understanding of how people use the website/interface so you can improve upon them accordingly.\n\n- provide testers with an outline of what they will be doing and how long it will take.\n\n- give them a printed copy of all the tasks they will be performing, so while you read the tasks to them, they can also follow along\n\n- super important: ensure that your testers know that they are not the ones being tested. This is probably the most crucial part of your script, so be clear about the fact that there are no right or wrong answers, actions, or ways to complete the assigned tasks. \n\nand one last thing: make sure your scenarios are written really carefully. \n\nif, for example, you’re resting your database searching page, don’t word the tast with something like “search a library database for an article on exercising” INSTEAD, say, “you’re training for a marathon. find the latest info in a magazine to help you with your training.”\n
  • and questions! we’ve got time for some, so ask away.\n
  • thanks! i’ll put the slides up on my blog.\n\nwe are now breaking for lunch but i hope to see you all back here for more UX awesomeness this afternoon!\n
  • \n
  • Sensible library website development

    1. 1. sensible library website developmentamanda etches#IL2012
    2. 2. your library is a unique little snowflake
    3. 3. why does yourlibrary have a website? a twitter experiment
    4. 4. post a way to to teach events access resources & services post hours to allow access to our post catalogue policies provideaccess to accountfunctions to help to link to our online resources support it’s the primary research way our patrons needs choose to interact with us
    5. 5. ALL our librariesare unique littlesnowflakes! Yet we all have similar motivations for our websites.
    6. 6. scope contentnavigation testing
    7. 7. scope
    8. 8. library websites often = junk drawers
    9. 9. website tips LESS IS MORE
    10. 10. website tips LESS IS MORE
    11. 11. website tips LESS IS LESS
    12. 12. website tipsSIGNAL:NOISE
    13. 13. 16% 27%8% 49%
    14. 14. 16%8% 76%
    15. 15. COMMUNITY PORTALPARTICIPATORY DESTINATION BASIC
    16. 16. COMMUNITY PORTALPARTICIPATORY DESTINATION BASIC
    17. 17. INFLUX.US/ONEPAGER
    18. 18. FREEHOLD PL http://freeholdpubliclibrary.org/
    19. 19. website tips LESS IS LESS
    20. 20. or t f s gn fir si ilede ob m
    21. 21. READ THIS
    22. 22. design for users’ critical tasks
    23. 23. ritical tasks ? ASK usershow to determine c
    24. 24. scope contentnavigation testing
    25. 25. FUNCTIONALREADING
    26. 26. How do you feel about reading thistext? This might be a perfectlyacceptable way to write a researchpaper or novel but websites aren’tfor reading. Sorry to break it toyou. People don’t want to readyour website. They want to findyour information. They’re on amission and all of the extra textyou’re putting on the screen isgetting in the way of letting themaccomplish their goals.
    27. 27. REMOVEUNNECESSARYWORDS
    28. 28. REMOVEWORDS
    29. 29. ?YOUR SITE = FAQ
    30. 30. INFORMATION NOT DOCUMENTS
    31. 31. INVERTEDPYRAMID
    32. 32. website tips
    33. 33. website tips
    34. 34. website tips
    35. 35. How do you feel about reading thistext? This might be a perfectlyacceptable way to write aresearch paper or novel butwebsites aren’t for reading. Sorryto break it to you. People don’twant to read your website. Theywant to find your information .They’re on a mission and all of theextra text you’re putting on thescreen is getting in the way ofletting them accomplish their
    36. 36. HEADERS, BITE-SIZED CHUNKS
    37. 37. before
    38. 38. after!
    39. 39. your web contentis a conversation website tips a conversation with your users
    40. 40. All issues of thelibrary newsletter canbe viewed online inthe About section. passive voice = bad!
    41. 41. PAGES MUST NOTBE WRITTEN BYPASSIVE VOICEDWRITERS.
    42. 42. WRITE IN THEACTIVE VOICE
    43. 43. You can read allissues of ournewsletter righthere! active voice = good
    44. 44. LIBRARY = WE
    45. 45. LIBRARY = WE USER = YOU
    46. 46. scope contentnavigation testing
    47. 47. SITE NAMEPAGE NAMEWHERE AM I?WHERE CAN I GO?HOW DO I SEARCH?
    48. 48. MATCH LABELS &PAGE NAMES
    49. 49. YOURNAVIGATION ISNOT YOURORG CHART
    50. 50. DEATH TO“CLICK HERE”
    51. 51. scope contentnavigation testing
    52. 52. usabilitytesting infive words
    53. 53. WATCHPEOPLEUSEYOURWEBSITE
    54. 54. wearenotourpatrons
    55. 55. fiveisenough
    56. 56. notesttoosmall
    57. 57. testearlyandoften
    58. 58. scriptit
    59. 59. THANKSetches.tumblr.com
    60. 60. 1. Snowflake: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mio-spr/4236002132. Twitter research: https://twitter.com/etches/status/2582811579327692803. Snowflakes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormbirdstudio/42684310084. Junk drawer: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29541077@N00/47119569125. Mobile first: http://www.flickr.com/photos/djlein/5010090835/6. Lights: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephangeyer/24389440547. Survey: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joegratz/208778609/8. With her camera: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmoong/5858769438/9. Conversation: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eye2eye/50892860 credits

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