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NCSU Libraries 2010 Web site Redesign: Process & Progress
 

NCSU Libraries 2010 Web site Redesign: Process & Progress

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  • In March 2009, the Web Strategy Team (WST) was asked to investigate best practices and make recommendations for a top-down library website refresh to include a new homepage design and new top-level site architecture. The team conducted a competitive analysis. A set of 21 key library site components were identified which the WST systematically evaluated across 18 peer web sites.  Other inspiration sites were also considered during later discussion.  The purpose of this exercise was to: ·Identify trends in design and delivery of key library web components, tools and services ·Identify examples of unique and innovative implementations of these elements From the report 3 high level components emerged that would drive the 2010 Web site redesign : organizational priorities, ux guiding principles and an overall design strategy (Angie)
  • The resulting report identified key organization priorities as well as a series of recommendations & observations for the 2010 redesign. The organizational priorities that emerged from the report include: Creating a fresh, modern, and welcoming site, with a clear personality brand for the library; Streamlining homepage access to search functionality and core user tasks; Creating a Web site that accommodates a dynamic, continually updated online presence, with a clear emphasis on innovative library initiatives and offerings; Designing a Web site infrastructure that is flexible and nimble (Angie)
  • In addition to organizational goals, the Website Redesign Team recognizes Trust , Relevance , and Consistency as guiding principles for optimizing user experience (UX). Across many industries that serve large populations of online users (e.g., large-scale ecommerce enterprises, online banking, web-based news services) UX models have evolved such that users trust they will find the features, tools, information, and support they expect. In a good UX model, users can also trust that features and tools will be arranged, labeled, and grouped in predictable ways. In the most successful online enterprises, users are not distracted by a site’s design. The site's design, messaging, and the ways users can choose to interact with it, all convey the impression that the site is relevant to users' lives. When a user is confident, productive, and feels at home on a site, the UX design is successful. (Angie)
  • Along with organizational priorities and UX guiding principles, the Website Redesign Project has an overall design strategy. 1.Convey credibility with design quality and consistency. Several of the reviewed sites seem to have redesigned only their home or top-level pages, creating a user experience that was jarring and confusing and does not inspire user confidence. Likewise, many libraries did not extend design elements from their main site design into their application interfaces, creating a UX disconnect.  The WST strongly recommends a complete redesign rather than a top-level only refresh, but acknowledges that phasing the redesign may be necessary, and that feasibility will need to be carefully evaluated by the Website Redesign Team. 2. Focus on core user needs Make search and discovery tools more prominent.  Base decisions about homepage content and navigation on use data and user testing to create a less-cluttered homepage design. 3.Use clear and consistent language in labeling to increase user confidence. Design for “scent.  When following links yields expected results, users become more confident that they are on the right track.  Labels and trigger words become critical to creating user confidence; test them with real users.  The sites in our study often used names for features that conveyed little information about purpose or function; or labels that created a clear expectation about functionality but produced unexpected content or behavior. 4.Promote intangibles through visual design and messaging. Convey the energy and sense of community in the library environment through seamlessly integrated images, news stories, features and design elements.  The visual design should reflect the dynamic energy of the Libraries, and messaging should be more pervasive throughout the site.  (Angie)
  • The organizational priorities, ux guiding principles and overall design strategy fueled the goals of the Web redesign team for the 2010 redesign. The team decided to use a user-centered design process which includes: Understanding users through user research Architecting and designing a site based on user research Refining the design through multiple iterations Developing a site through multiple iterations And validating the site through usability testing and evaluation (Susan)
  • Where are we today (April, 2010)? We’ve conducted user research including web site usage analysis, search term analysis, interviews with user groups, usability testing and blog posts for user feedback We’ll go into each of these areas in the next slides We’re now in the architecture & design phases where we are constructing a new information architecture for the Web site, creating wireframes and design compositions We’ll move next into development and rollout (Susan)
  • In the user research arena, we’ve set out to better understand our users and their motivations for using the site. We’ve used a variety of user-centered research methodologies to formulate an understanding of our core users. (Susan)
  • We first looked at both usage statistics and heat mapping. The heat mapping shows the concentration of clicks on the homepage for a period of time. What we found by looking at web site statistics: Approximately 50% of our users get to the site by typing a URL directly into the browser; Approximately 17% of our users use Google to find the site. Of the 17%, the most popular keywords to find the Web site are: citation builder and variations of ncsu library , library , ncsu libraries , ncsu lib and lib.ncsu.edu .   Firefox browser usage increased in the latter part of the year from 32% to 36%. Internet Explorer usage dropped to 38% from 48%.   Internet Explorer & Firefox versions were captured for the latter half of the year; 72% of users used either IE version 7.0 or 8.0; 26% of IE users used version 6.0. Firefox browser versions varied widely, with the majority of users using some flavor of version 3.x.   Over 50% of our users spend less than 10 seconds on the homepage.   Approximately 20% of traffic to the homepage exited the homepage without visiting other parts of the site; that number increased to 28% in the latter half of the year.   The top navigation paths from the homepage are: homepage -> search, homepage -> catalog, homepage -> journals, homepage -> databases and homepage -> find articles . We also looked at top search terms that users entered into the quick search box today on the site. This type of analysis helped determine labeling for key elements on the site as well as what to highlight on a new homepage. (Susan)
  • We hired consultants to do a series of interviews with undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and staff across NCSU. The interview results were compiled, and personas, or archetypes/composites of various users were created. We decided to develop personas as we felt like the in-depth interviews would give us a better understanding of the motivations, priorities, interests and needs of our end-users. (Angie)
  • (Angie)
  • DH Hill Library serves as a central hub of undergraduate student life undergrads, particiularly those earlier in their career, tended not to differentiate between the research functions of the library and other services, such as Hill of Beans, computer access for social activities, comfortable and social study space, etc. Despite encouragement from faculty, students very rarely interacted with library staff for research needs interactions with librarians were largely limited to assisting in technical issues – printer problems or wi-fi access – or assistance in locating pre-identified resources (Angie)
  • Several library web site services were “invisible” to users, even though they used them on a regular basis numerous participants mentioned using Tripsaver (not always using that name), but few could remember how they accessed it A couple of young students believed the library website was a tool only available at the physical space There is little interest in smart phones and apps among university population undergrads don’t understand the need for a smart phone Grads & faculty don’t necessarily want to be that available Students’ general impressions of the library were remarkably consistent “ big” – “has everything I could ever need” “ confusing or “intimidating” “ friendly” & “laid-back” “ organized” and “convenient” (Angie)
  • Meet our personas Jessica slate: “ I usually email my professor if I need help with an assignment. I’ve never actually checked out a book from the library – I can basically find everything I need online. Ansari Haidar: “ During midterms and finals, I might as well pitch a tend in the library. I live in a loud apartment off-campus, so this is where I study, meet up with friends and just generally where I end up when I’m on campus (Angie)
  • Meet our personas Casey Prentiss: “I try to stay on top of some of the latest developments in my field and seek out opportunities for publishing or presenting. I work to help my students develop some fundamental research skills.” Charles Magnus: “I’m a big fan of the library. I think - in this time of massive amounts of data and information – librarians are critical for helping students become proficient in research. (Angie)
  • Meet our personas Mini- personas Maansi Masters – Masters student who seeks an industry job; many of the same motivations as Ansari and Casey Ron Research – Many of the same motivation as Casey and Charles. Works in the lab and uses the library web site for every task Dawn Distance – some of the same motivations as Ansari; limited time on campus – more life experience and maturity (Angie)
  • Research question: Do users navigate using the expected menu items? (Susan)
  • Menus were learnable: a number of users scanned menus to orient themselves to options before making selections, and went back to easily find the correct links. Find seems to resonate as a broader term than Search for this user group. Many started there when asked to find almost anything. Users seemed to quickly develop a mental model for “Find” and moved on to explore other menus. Services worked well as a catch-all. Many users seemed to understand the concept of Services. (Susan)
  • The goal of the test was to answer 2 research questions: 1) Do users pre-select tabs in a tabbed search model before entering search terms? 2) How do users interact with tabbed or non-tabbed search results? Twenty-eight undergraduates, graduates and library staff at NCSU, participated in a round of guerrilla usability testing for 2 proposed search models in the lobby of DH Hill Library in mid-April, 2010.   Participants were recruited from the pool of patrons who walked into the lobby of DH Hill Library. Each patron was asked if the Libraries could take 5 minutes of their time in exchange for a candy bar. Among the 28 participants, over 19 different campus departments were represented. Each participant was asked to complete 2 tasks using one of the search models; many participants volunteered to answer more than 2 questions. A total of 14 participants answered 46 questions about Model 1; a total of 14 participants answered 38 questions about Model 3.   (Susan)
  • Twenty-eight undergraduates, graduates and library staff at NCSU, participated in a round of guerrilla usability testing for 2 proposed search models in the lobby of DH Hill Library in mid-April, 2010.   Participants were recruited from the pool of patrons who walked into the lobby of DH Hill Library. Each patron was asked if the Libraries could take 5 minutes of their time in exchange for a candy bar. Among the 28 participants, over 19 different campus departments were represented. Each participant was asked to complete 2 tasks using one of the search models; many participants volunteered to answer more than 2 questions. A total of 14 participants answered 46 questions about Model 1; a total of 14 participants answered 38 questions about Model 3.   The goal of the test was to answer 2 research questions: 1) Do users pre-select tabs in a tabbed search model before entering search terms? 2) How do users interact with tabbed or non-tabbed search results? (Susan)
  • At the beginning of the project, the Web redesign team started a blog to capture the process, progress and artifacts of the Web redesign process. On several occasions, we’ve asked for user feedback on the blog either by leaving a comment there or by using the feedback link http://news.lib.ncsu.edu/redesign (Susan)
  • During the user research phase of the project, we also looked at the content on the Web site. We created a content inventory of the first 3 levels of the site. The inventory included the page title, current url, and content type. The content inventory has helped us prioritize content for the redesign as well as set the scope of the project. (Angie)
  • From the content inventory, we created a content analysis document. In the content analysis, we determined what was in scope for this 2010 phase of the project (August deadline). We were also able to ascertain what parts of site would need an information architecture overhaul and what parts of the site would get that type of attention after the August rollout. All parts of the site would get a visual refresh. (Angie)
  • We also used this time to determine what our Drupal migration would look like for the August deadline. We decided upon a phased migration plan, which would include migrating the first 2 levels of the site by the August deadline and then migrating ‘subsites’ more slowly over the next 6-8 months. (Angie)
  • One of the first things we did in terms of architecture was to begin mapping out the new site. We looked at hierarchy, and used our content inventory to identify key applications, new content and content on the existing site that needs rework (in this iteration of the redesign). The site maps /information architecture will help us as enter the Drupal phase of the project. (Susan)
  • Following our user research and content analysis, the Web Redesign Team mapped the goals of the site with user behaviors gleaned from interviews and usability testing. These behaviors informed the new architecture and design. One of the first organization goals was to streamline access to core search functions. We have Best search engine in academic libraries – we need to showcase it. We understand the importance of search from user behaviors as well and their use of the library as a portal. How this is employed in the design is to make search prominent and use an information hierarchy to do this within the site. Another goal of the redesign is to promote ways to contact librarians throughout the user experience. In interviews and usability studies, users often said that they were familiar with chat but had trouble finding it in the site. In the design we’ve promoted chat in a greater way including it in megadropdowns & global navigation as well as creating a new, more visible icon. The third goal of the design is to highlight core tools and provide paths to top tasks. This includes highlighting commonly used resources and tasks directly on the homepage Promoting the library through news and events messaging is the fourth goal of the redesign. The artbox is commonly seen as a focal point in the user’s mind for promoting events. In the design we’ve made the artbox more prominent. It becomes the key messaging vehicle for the site. Finally, promoting new innovations in library spaces is a core organizational goal. As undergraduates commonly said that they though the library could be big and confusing, it’s important to promote new spaces to try and get at wayfinding within the library. (Susan)
  • The Web redesign team went through a series of meetings to iterate on wireframes for the new design. The team was initially presented with 3 wireframes. We paired this down to 1 design that has since been handed over to our graphic designer to begin work on design comps. (Susan)
  • Following our initial brainstorming meeting, we decided on 1 wireframe. As is common in an iterative design process, we are continuing to refine the design before we hand this over to Brent to create design compositions. (Susan)
  • We also wireframed our megadropdown menus for the new site. This helped us get a sense for how the menus would fit into the overall architecture. (Susan)
  • The next phases of the project – May – August, 2010, will include creating and iterating over design compositions, more user testing of the design compositions themselves, presentations to various stakeholders, and library advisory groups, consideration of blog feedback, and moving existing content into the Drupal content management system. (Susan)

NCSU Libraries 2010 Web site Redesign: Process & Progress NCSU Libraries 2010 Web site Redesign: Process & Progress Presentation Transcript

  • NCSU LIBRARIES 2010 WEB SITE REDESIGN
    • Process & Progress
  • OUR PROJECT
  • ORGANIZATIONAL PRIORITIES
      • Create a fresh, modern, and welcoming site , with a clear personality brand for the library;
      • Streamline homepage access to search functionality and core user tasks;
      • Create a Web site that accommodates a dynamic, continually updated online presence , with a clear emphasis on innovative library initiatives and offerings;
      • Design a Web site infrastructure that is flexible and nimble .
  • USER EXPERIENCE (UX) GUIDING PRINCIPLES
  • OVERALL DESIGN STRATEGY
    • Convey credibility with design quality and consistency
    • Focus on core user needs
    • Use clear and consistent language in labeling to increase user confidence
    • Promote intangibles through visual design and messaging
  • THE USER-CENTERED DESIGN PROCESS
  • WHERE WE ARE
    • User Research
    • Architecture & Design
    • Development
    • Rollout
  • USER RESEARCH
  • USER RESEARCH
    • Web site Usage Analysis
    • Search Term Analysis
    • Interviews with user groups
    • Usability testing
      • Navigation
      • Search Box
    • Blog posts asking for user feedback
  • WEB SITE USAGE ANALYSIS & SEARCH TERM ANALYSIS
  • INTERVIEWS & PERSONAS
    • Persona: n. A thumbnail summary of the characteristics, needs, motivations, and environment of targeted types of web site users.
    • Why Personas?
      • You are not your user.
      • You’re different in significant ways that change your web experience:
        • Priorities, interests and needs
        • Skill levels & knowledge bases
        • Motivations
        • Daily experiences
  • WHO WE INTERVIEWED
    • Beginning Undergraduates
    • Upperclass Undergraduates
    • Distance Students
    • Industry Graduate Students
    • Academic Graduate Students
    • Research Staff
    • Faculty
    33 participants 8 in-depth interviews 25 shorter interviews
  • MAJOR FINDINGS
    • D. H. Hill Library serves as a central hub of undergraduate student life
    • Despite encouragement from faculty, students very rarely interacted with library staff for research needs
  • MAJOR FINDINGS
    • Several library Web site services were “invisible” to users, even though they used them on a regular basis
    • There is currently little interest in smart phones and apps among the on-campus population
    • Students’ general impressions of the library were remarkably consistent
      • “ big” – “has everything I could ever need”
      • “ confusing or “intimidating”
      • “ friendly” & “laid-back”
      • “ organized” and “convenient”
  • PERSONAS
    • Jessica Slate
    • 18 years old
    • First Year Undergraduate
    • New to library and research in general
    • Studies in the Learning Commons
    • Conducts research for English 101
    • Ansari Haidar
    • 23 years old
    • Fourth-Year Undergraduate
    • Uses library web site, especially Refworks and Academic Search Premier
    • Likes the chat window to ask a librarian for help, but never remembers it’s there
  • PERSONAS
    • Casey Prentiss
    • 28 years old
    • Fourth-Year Graduate, ABD
    • Library is a critical professional resource
    • Use the Web site to find citations and narrow down resources
    • Requests interlibrary loan through catalog or database
    • Charles Magnus, Ph.D.
    • 56 years old
    • Professor
    • Library supplements primary research resources
    • Uses PubMed database extensively
    • Would like more tools for customized resource management
  •  
  • NAVIGATION TESTING
    • 32 undergraduates, graduates, and library staff at NCSU in navigation testing
    • Each task required the user to open a navigation menu and indicate which menu item they would select to look for the specified information
    • Facilitators recorded up to 4 of each user’s menu selections, in order of selection
    • A facilitator assessment of task difficulty was also recorded
  • NAVIGATION TESTING
    • Major Findings
    • Menus were learnable and users quickly developed mental models for the global navigation.
      • Find resonated as a broader term than Search
      • Services menu worked well as a catch-all
      • Research Help was the most ambiguous
      • About was generally used as expected
      • There was general confusion about where to locate databases. This problem existed in the search testing as well.
  • SEARCH BOX TESTING
    • 28 undergraduates, graduates, and library staff at NCSU participated in a round of testing of 2 search models
    • A total of 14 participants answered 46 questions about 1 st model
    • A total of 14 participants answered 38 questions about 2 nd model
  • SEARCH BOX TESTING
    • Major Findings
      • Tabs were a common convention and one that resonated with end-users
      • Confusion between journals and articles is a well-known, documented issue in academic libraries.’ This confusion played out between the ‘Journals’ & ‘Articles’ tabs
      • In both models, users rarely switched tabs in search results once in a silo; users tended to stay in the same silo and refine searches
  • USER FEEDBACK
  • CONTENT ANALYSIS
  • CONTENT INVENTORY
  • CONTENT ANALYSIS
  • DRUPAL MIGRATION PLAN
  • ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
  • ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
  • GOALS & DESIGN DECISIONS Goal User Behaviors Design Implications Streamline access to core search functions Promote ways to contact librarians throughout the user experience Highlight core tools and provide paths to top tasks Promote the library through news and events messaging Promote new innovations in library spaces Importance of search Library as portal Name recognition but trouble finding chat search, citation builder, reserving a study room, borrowing/renewing a laptop Artbox is seen as a way to keep up with library events Undergraduates: library can be big and confusing, especially the stacks. All students: heavy use of library space Employ an information hierarchy Promote chat in a greater way by including it in mega dropdowns & global navigation as well as creating a new, more visible icon Highlight top resources and top tasks directly on homepage Artbox becomes more prominent than it is today, and becomes the key messaging vehicle for the site Promote new innovations through the ‘Leading the Way’ section of the site and through ‘Collaborative Spaces’ section
  • ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN ITERATIONS
  • ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
  • ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
  • NEXT STEPS
    • Design Comps
    • User Testing
    • Presentations to various stakeholders and library user groups
    • Feedback on Blog
    • Drupal Migration
  • QUESTIONS?
    • [email_address]
    • [email_address]