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!