Monthly Archives: March 2016

Website Redesign Update #9

Home page search design

The Discovery Systems Advisory Group (formerly the Summon Working Group) conducted usability testing with students with the wireframes, focusing especially on the home page search.

Based on the results, the group finalized the design that will appear on our beta site, which will be available for faculty, staff, and student input this summer.

Read the full wireframes usability report

View the wireframes

Web content

The Web Content Team has completed the initial drafts for all of the content for the site. We’ve asked the Steering Committee members to collect feedback from their departments.

The team is using a tool called Gather Content to draft content, which will be imported into WordPress in May. You will need to log in to Gather Content to view the drafts.

View the instructions to log in and view content

Also, I want to recognize everyone all of the library faculty and staff who lent their advice and expertise. If you see these people, thank them for their contributions!

Web Content Team

  • Alejandro Castro
  • Sandy De Groote
  • Isabel Gonzalez-Smith
  • Rosie Hanneke
  • Dan Harper
  • Amber Hoppenworth
  • Linda Naru
  • Tara Wood

Content consultants


  • Jen Bordy
  • Paula Dempsey
  • Peggy Glowacki
  • Val Harris
  • Glenda Insua
  • Becky Lowery
  • Scott Pitol
  • Tracy Seneca
  • Sonia Yaco


  • Jamie Dwyer
  • Jay Jurek
  • Kevin O’Brien


  • Karen Luna


  • Janet McMahon
  • Leslie Wedel


  • Ryan Rafferty
  • Jenny Taylor


Win prizes for Work Like a Patron scavenger hunt

cgheaafcLearn some new facts about the Library, experience our patrons’ triumphs and frustrations, and compete for cash prizes in the Library scavenger hunt!

The scavenger hunt will take place during Work Like a Patron Week (April 4 – 8, 2016), and winners will be announced at the April 11 All Staff meeting.

Stay tuned for the list of questions and instructions!

Cullars, Daugherty named emeritus faculty

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved emeritus status for two Library faculty members at its March 16, 2016 meeting:

  • John M. Cullars, Associate Professor Emeritus, University Library, January 1, 2016
  • Robert Allen Daugherty, Associate Professor Emeritus, University Library,
    January 1, 2016

Work Like a Patron April 4-8

The UIC Library’s Work Like a Patron (WLAP) Task Force would like to invite all library faculty and staff to participate in Work Like a Patron Week at the UIC Library during the week of April 4-8, 2016. Dedicate a day during this week to empathize with UIC Library users and identify how we can improve their experience!

The goal of WLAP is for library faculty and staff to experience the needs and barriers our patrons encounter as they use our spaces, services, and tools.  We recommend stepping out of your comfort zone – try something you’ve never done before like visiting a library, service, or department that you are not very familiar with.

Here are some examples of how to participate:

  • Book a study/group room for a meeting and use the technology in the room
  • Work outside of your office/department for a day and use the furniture for patrons
  • Ask a librarian for help finding a book or article

For more ideas and details about Work Like A Patron Week, check out the UIC Library’s WLAPW (3) website.

A follow-up brown bag discussion is scheduled on Wednesday, April 27, in Daley Library room 1-470, to share our findings and suggestions. We hope you’ll join us in continuing to make UIC Library user-centered and user friendly!


Wellness Initiative programs planned

The Library’s Wellness Initiative announced the following activities and programs:

Healthy Eating Potluck and Recipe Swap, 12:30-1:30 p.m., March 14, 2016, Daley Library Staff Lounge

Smoothie and Juice Day, 12:30-1:30 p.m., March 21, 2016, Daley Library Staff Lounge

Ergonomics Workshop, presented by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, 9:30 a.m., April 4, 2016, Daley Library room 1-470

Look and Feel Great at 88!: Understanding and Managing the Mechanics of Aging, presented by the Counseling Center, April 29, 2016

TBA – Financial Wellness

TBA – Stretching Out Your Stress presented by the Counseling Center

The UIC Library’s Wellness Initiative looks to engage and encourage activities in the workplace that encompass all aspects of wellness – physical, emotional, social and financial. It is an initiative started by us, about us, and for us. We realize how important wellness is in both our personal and work lives. We hope to focus on mental and physical wellness, nutrition and healthy eating, ergonomic concerns, financial wellness, and any other ideas you may have!  It doesn’t matter whether you are at the pinnacle of fitness or someone just starting on your journey; all can participate. The Wellness Initiative is a judgment free zone, where you can participate to whatever level you feel comfortable with. We are here to support and encourage each other in improving our overall wellness.  We hope to have informational sessions and/or activities on various wellness topics, group activities, social media for sharing goals and providing encouragement to each other, and sharing tips and tricks we learn along the way. Our goal is to have something for everyone to improve your overall well-being.

Library Wellness Initiative team:
Jessie Duran
Kathy Kilian
Laquashei Lynn

Website Redesign Update #8

Thanks to everyone who gave feedback on both the mockups and the wireframes! We’ve incorporated your feedback, and development has started on the front-end display of the site.

A few frequently asked questions came up. Those of you who left your email address and requested a response should have received an email. If you didn’t leave an email however, I wanted to make sure your questions are still addressed. Here are the answers to some of those questions.

Mockups FAQ

What is with the Latin/Spanish?

Mockups (which show the visual design of a site) and wireframes (which show the layout and organization of the site) often use placeholder text, called lorem ipsum. It allows designers to focus on colors, fonts, and other display elements without having to also generate a ton of content.

Where is the Services page?

In our usability testing, the existing Services section of our site was problematic:

  • We have a lot of services, making them difficult to navigate to in a traditional hierarchical menu.
  • The differences between “Services” and “Collections” in the primary navigation was not always clear.

Instead, we’re using the Help knowledge base – a collection of over 100 articles, tagged by location and topic, that will connect users to information on how to use our services, resources, and collections. Help articles pertinent to particular locations or collections will also appear on the pages for those collections or locations.

What are Top Tasks? How are they selected?

These are the sections of the site where our Help knowledge base content appears. “Top Tasks” may be relabeled based on usability testing. They’ll be selected manually for each page to ensure they’re consistent throughout a semester – there were some concerns students might be confused if the Top Tasks change throughout the semester based on usage.

Can Top Tasks be customized to a particular library/page?

Yes! The highlighted Top Tasks that appear on pages are Help Articles that will be manually curated. Individual locations can choose which articles to highlight based on your location. There are also tags for each location, so you can link to all of the articles for a particular location as well. “My Accounts” will display articles related to setting up your library accounts. Collections pages (Articles, Databases, Special Collections, etc.) will display help about using those collections.

Is there an About page?

Yes, there is a whole About section! Our About page is being written by Linda Naru, and it will feature information about our mission, vision, usage, and possibly some information about our departments (in a later phase, we plan to implement a more robust directory with pages for departments). You just saw a small sample of our pages in the mockups.

Where are the “quick links” to …. Databases A-Z? Research Guides? PubMed? Another Resource?

A key finding in our usability studies was that “quick links” (such as those that appear on the current site in the home page search box) are very confusing for students. They don’t always know what they mean, and many of our resources – including databases, journals, and research guides – need to be presented with some context. It seems like “fewer clicks” equals “saving user effort,” but that’s not necessarily the case. Our goal should be to help our users make confident decisions through elegant handoffs to the different areas of our web presence – saving them the experience of clicking around, feeling frustrated or disoriented, and giving up.

Can the search box…Have different labels? Search a different tool?

The search box on the mockups is not final. The Discovery Systems Working Group will complete usability testing and finalize the design based on the results of that testing. Keep an eye out for that in April.

Do we need an alert? What will go in the alerts?

We actually have an alert set up for our current site. These will be managed by Linda Naru, and alerts will be posted in the event of library closings, down time for essential online services, or any other emergency matters. Most of the time, the alert will not appear on the site.

Where is the chat widget (Ask-A-Librarian)?

Don’t worry! The chat widget will appear on every page. Our designer is still working on the designs for that.

Will the search box appear throughout the site?

A site search will appear throughout the site (the magnifying glass in the upper right). The home page search box will just appear on the home page; the Help search will just appear on the help pages.

Why isn’t_________ resource on My Accounts? Contact Us? Collections?

The mockups use placeholder text, so you’re not seeing the efforts that have gone into the content and descriptions for the tools, resources, and information featured on these pages. You’ll have a chance to provide feedback on content soon.

Will we have dropdown menus?

We won’t have drop down menus. One of the big issues in our usability testing was throwing out labels without context – i.e. students see “journals” or “databases” and they don’t know what that means – and a dropdown menu by nature just shows labels.


Thanks again for your feedback, and more updates coming soon!

Pho accepts UCLA position

RSR regretfully announces the departure of Annie Pho, Undergraduate Experience Librarian, as of March 18, 2016. Annie has accepted an appointment as Inquiry and Instruction Librarian for Peer-to-Peer Service and Public Programs at Powell Library, University of California, Los Angeles. Her contributions to student success have been many, and her innovation and energy will be sorely missed. We look forward to hearing about Annie’s work at UCLA as she continues to take the profession by storm.