The last week has been a whirlwind. I’ve begun the second round of usability testing for the library website. I presented first round results at this past year’s ACRL conference. I’m really interested in seeing how the changes I’ve made to the site are effecting students. The hardest part about testing is scheduling. Thankfully, I was able to acquire research time to conduct testing with students.
In the future, I would like to test the library website using emotional measuring instruments. Craig MacDonald suggested I use the Affect Grid. I had a chance to talk to him after our presentations at the Metro UX SIG last week. I would like to also to test this against our CUNY-wide Primo discovery tool, OneSearch, to see if finding information is frustrating or rewarding for students.
I also had a presentation accepted on the development of the library website for the upcoming CUNY IT Conference. I’m very excited about this opportunity, where I’ll be talking about web developing using Bootstrap and using cloud-based services.
Lastly, a new issue of code4lib Journal is now out. The theme is data, and there are some great articles in this issue!
There is a new issue of Urban Library Journal available, containing select proceedings from this past year’s LACUNY Institute that focused on privacy in libraries. It was also my first time editing an issue on my own.
The code4Lib 2016 Conference Website is now up and running. Take a look here. This year’s conference will be held in Philadelphia. I’m very excited about serving on the conference’s Website Group. It was great picking up on jekyll.js.
Lastly, I’m going to be speaking at the METRO Library Council’s User Experience User Group on October 14th! I’ll be discussing my book, Usability and the Mobile Web. I’m looking forward to sharing my work with the folks at METRO!
The new semester starts tomorrow, and one project I wanted to launch was a redesigned electronic resources page on our library website. After reading Anthony McMullen’s article, “Resist the List,” I wanted to make fundamental changes to how our students view our A to Z pages.
McMullen argues that the Database A to Z list is user-unfriendly. Imagining that you’re a freshman who has to conduct research in a library, and presented with a long list of databases, vendors, icons, and descriptions, its really easy to get lost in what you’re looking for. So, instead of using an A to Z page, we launched page that chunks databases into subject categories. This may or may not be intuitive for users, but a future usability test will help determine that. The page draws inspiration from Portland State University’s database page, and Virginia Commonwealth University’s database page.
I think one indicator to see if a database page is usable on a library website is if there doesn’t need to be that much instruction on how to use it. I feel that once info lit librarians/instructors no longer have the burden of teaching students on how to “use” a database page, then they can focus on other important topics.
I’ve been getting a couple of reviews for my book, Usability and the Mobile Web. Here’s a review from the Australian Library and Information Association. Many thanks to Catherine Gilbert Parliament of Australia Library for looking it over!
It’s also been in a recent issue of SciTech News, a resource I personally use for collection development. It has also received a positive review from Catholic Library World June 2015 issue, reviewed by Susan Camille.
I just recently returned from San Francisco, where the ALA Annual Conference was held. This is the largest librarian conference that I’ve been to. Its easy to get overwhelmed by the selection of workshops, programs, speakers, exhibits, and vendors.