December 14, 2017

User Experience Experts Release Template to Assist in Library Website Design

Aaron Schmidt, Amanda Etches-Johnson, and Nate Hill are librarians and also experts when it comes to library web site design and other user experience issues.

It’s very likely that you’ve seen (or will see) them speak at a conference or seminar. They not only share useful information and thoughtful opinion but also are superb speakers.

Schmidt, Etches-Johnson, and Hill are also partners in Influx, a library “user experience design” consulting firm.

Last week, Influx released a template (it’s free) that libraries can consider/utilize when designing or redesigning a web site.

infoDOCKET asked Aaron Schmidt to share with us a brief info about the template and why Influx believes it can be useful to many info pros.

Here’s what he shared with us:

Many library websites are sprawling masses of content that people don’t care about.

Don’t believe me? Ask anyone what they do on a library website and they’ll tell you that they use it to look up books and put items on reserve. Any time we conduct user research about library website this response never ceases to be the most frequent one we hear.

This isn’t the only commonality we’ve heard. In fact, the things that people the world over want to do on basic library websites is pretty similar. People want to know about:

– contact information
– hours & locations
– event information
– item recommendations

Before a library spends time developing engaging original content or perusing any other advanced features it should make sure that these critical tasks are as easy as possible to accomplish.

Knowing that a lot of libraries don’t have the time and skills to develop even a basic website that’s usable we developed a free template for them to use. It’s called One-Pager and it cuts away the junk and puts the important bits front and center.

One-Pager Template from Influx

One of the best things about One-Pager is that it is a responsive design. This means that it formats specifically to the browser displaying it. So with One-Pager libraries have a website for people using desktop computers and mobile devices without having to do extra work.

Interested? Here’s more information about One-Pager.

Aaron Schmidt’s comments are 100% on target. I’ve visited and used thousands of library web sites over the years and many could use a few design suggestions especially when it comes to the contact info he mentions.

Finally, the last week’s Pew e-book report mentions that only 20% of e-book readers get recommendations from librarians and library web sites. That number should be higher.

You have to wonder about how many people would be more than willing to read and use library e-book and other recommendations but they simply can’t find them (easily and quickly) on the library’s web site.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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