Our New Website has arrived!

We’ve updated our intranet website based on web usability principles.  After studying how people typically approach and interpret web pages we realized that we needed to radically redesign our layout, terminology; and provide more of a context for our resources.  Our goal was to organize our resources based on how they are used by our clients.

It required a big shift in perspective to get outside of our own education and experience to provide an interface useful to people who don’t spend their days thinking about the structure of information.  This difficulty isn’t unique to librarians as evidenced by the emergence of interprofessional education programs in which physicians, nurses, dieticians and other professionals strive to find new ways of working together.

Working with the St. Mike’s Communications department, we researched how most people scan pages & make decisions about relevance. We also examined how terminology affects whether a link is clicked or avoided.  We also researched how other libraries approached these issues and adapted some of the best practices to the design of our site.

So now what? Now that the site is live we test it.  Usability is not static.  We’d like to hear what you do and do not like about the new website.  We will be designing a feedback survey with questions about specific features and having more formal evaluations looking toward the next round of development.

In the meantime contact us at hslibrary@smh.ca to let us now how you like the new site.

Further reading:

  1. Jacob Nielsen’s Website http://www.useit.com/
  2. “Library Terms that Users Understand” John Kupersmith
    eScholarship, University of California, 2012 http://escholarship.org/uc/item/3qq499w7#page-1

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