Lessons From Lib Guides


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

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Lessons From Lib Guides

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