Lessons From Lib Guides
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Lessons From Lib Guides



A presentation given to librarians at Baker College on 11/24/2009.

A presentation given to librarians at Baker College on 11/24/2009.



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Lessons From Lib Guides Lessons From Lib Guides Presentation Transcript

  • LESSONS FROM LIBGUIDES Laura Harris @ Baker College, 11.24.09
  • Why LibGuides?
    • Online system created by the university was very limited – customization difficult
    • LibGuides’ 2.0 features seemed to offer more flexibility
  • How did GVSU do it?
    • We started our contract with LibGuides in late December 2007
    • Didn’t launch until Fall 2008
    • Lots of workshops & how-to documents
  • Our initial guidelines…
    • Minimize white space
    • Think about your users
    • Quality over quantity; many users don’t bother to scroll, so put the most important information “above the fold”
    • While these were good guidelines to begin with, they weren’t enough…
  • Challenges we faced
    • LibGuides is a little too awesome
      • Librarians want to use LibGuides for everything
      • Advice: define the scope of your guides carefully. Stick to subject guides and course guides, and think carefully before you use LibGuides for something else
    • Incomplete understanding of usability guidelines
      • Librarians may not understand the reasoning behind the guidelines
      • Advice…
  • A few tips on usability
    • Organize by task – “finding articles” rather than “indexes & databases” or “citing sources” rather than “RefWorks”
    • Be as brief as possible. Keep in mind that the attention span of the average web user is low.
    • Use graphics to show real content, not just to be decorative
    • Limit your font styles, colors, etc.
  • So, please don’t do this…
  • Or this…
  • One last challenge…
    • Browsability – Ranganath’s Fourth Rule – “Save the time of the User.”
    • We wanted to reduce the number of clicks our users had to make
  • So we did this, but it got a little unwieldy…
  • So this is what we’re trying next
  • Opportunities
    • Springshare is very responsive to customer feedback and suggestions
    • Creativity
    • Interactivity
    • Up-to-date information
  • Creativity
  • Interactivity
  • Up-to-date information
  • Up-to-date information
  • Opportunities for instruction
    • Interactivity – LibGuides provides a ‘feedback’ box type; you can embed many things into LibGuides
    • Go where the students are – using LibGuides’ API, you can embed LibGuides boxes directly into Blackboard
    • Assessment – guide statistics can show you which links students used the most
  • LibGuides in Blackboard
  • Guide statistics
  • Recommended reading…
    • Jakob Nielsen - usability expert
      • Any of his books
      • Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design:
        • http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9605.html
      • 113 Design Guidelines for Homepage Usability
        • http://www.useit.com/homepageusability/guidelines.html
    • Robin Williams - the designer, not the actor
      • The Non-Designer's Design Book
      • Bad Web Design Features
        • http://www.ratz.com/featuresbad.html
    • John Kupersmith – librarian
      • Library Terms That Users Understand
        • http://www.jkup.net/terms.html
  • More recommended reading…
    • LibGuides Style Guides from Boston College
      • http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=dg6z5m5m_93gg37x4dx
      • http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=dg6z5m5m_93gg37x4dx
      • http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dg6z5m5m_92dghmhdd7
    • Presentation & links available online at:
    • http://slideshare.net/rikhei