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Digital Culture

ALA Day One – Website as a Branch

First program/panel: Website as a Branch. The room is standing room only, so I’m forced to sit way back on the floor, which limits my view of the slides. The notes below are largely from the verbal portion due to that.

Presentation by Broward County Library in Florida. Short bullet point summary:

  • Put yourself in the user’s place when you start the redesign.
  • Then ask your users what they want.
  • Identify user sets that you want to focus the website towards.
  • Struggle with IT on campus wide issues.
  • Identify technology and how to best use it to present information to users.
  • All users agreed that navigation is a key issue.
  • Staff needs more efficient way to update site.
  • Cross-referenced navigation…users don’t want to have to backtrack in order to go to another portion of the site (in web speak: multiple entry points for each piece of content).
  • How do you usability test distance users?
  • Update/discard content…not something that librarians are NOT very good at.
  • Keep in mind that users only tell you when something is wrong. If no one complains about the website, it’s doing ok.
  • Empower librarians AND make them responsible for the content…where they should be.
  • Give users warning of change, and allow them options for some time.

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