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Web > Web Committee Notes, 06 April 2010

Web Committee Notes, 06 April 2010

Web Committee Notes, 06 April 2010

Present: Sarah Coysh, William Denton (chair), Walter Giesbrecht, Angela Hamilton, F. Tim Knight, Nisa Lawson (secretary), Aaron Lupton, Anna St. Onge, Robert Thompson

Regrets: Dana Craig, Mark Robertson

Notes from previous meeting

Notes from 02 March 2010 were approved, with the correction that Anna St. Onge saw the OLA presentation that mentioned faculty-generated home page title image carousels, not Angela Hamilton

Business arising

The Yahoo! Pipes brown bag session, run by Tim Knight and Adam Taves, was a success. About 15 people attended. There will be a Zotero session on 15 April.

Walter Giesbrecht put some links on his part of the web site: Forum Software Reviews, ForumMatrix, and from ForumMatrix, a list of forum applications that meet his criteria:

You want a threaded Forum that is Free and Open Source with which you can assign users to multiple groups and featuring RSS/ATOM.

The following 10 Forums match your criteria:

Advanced Electron Forum, Beehive Forum, dnfBB, FUDforum, mwForum, MyBB, NextBBS, Phorum, TikiWiki CMS-Groupware and YetAnotherForum.NET

Compare them

A link to @yorkulibraries was added to the home page.

LibX will need to be upgraded on all the computer workstations around the library. This will wait until after VuFind 2 is rolled out in May, so that the advanced search features in both can work together.

HOLD until May/June: T Knight to look at LibX workstation updates after VuFind 2 is out.

ACTION: T Knight to contact Oliver Chin in UIT about installing LibX around the campus.


Robert Thompson handed around copies of VuFind enhancements for Version 2 and Suggetions for Future VuFind Development.

Version 2 development is coming along with a projected switchover for 25 May 2010, with Version 3 coming in early August. A working group on relevancy ranking (members: Heather Fraser, Marcia Salmon, Adam Taves, John Dupuis, Tuan Nguyen, Ali Sadaqain) will hold their first meeting on 7 April 7 2010. Tim Knight asked if this were an open group that he could join.

WorldCat points to the classic catalogue.

ACTION: T Knight to investigate this with Heather Fraser.

The SFX interface directs users to the classic catalogue. It should point to the new catalogue.

ACTION: R Thompson and A Lupton to investigate how to update SFX so Find It @ York links to the new catalogue.

Other web-related news and updates

  • There had been no Feedback activity.
  • Some home page special features are planned; tell Christina Pringi if you have any ideas for new ones.
  • L St Amour discussed some of the challenges with using Worldcats mobile interfaces.

Home page changes

The “Find Articles” tab is the most clicked-on part of the home page, according to ClickHeat. The Find By Subject page, the list of all of our subject guides, is the third most popular page on the web site, after the home page and the authentication page required before viewing electronic resources remotely. Scott MacLaren mentioned in his recent Research Frontiers talk, “The Book Is Not Dead,” how amazed a student was when he discovered the subject guides and what a revelation they were.

Given this, how can the subject guides be made easier to find and more obvious to students? One concern of L St. Amour was that there aren’t statistics that register how many times the tabs are clicked on and used. He suggested a function that would list the top five used buttons and a ‘see more’ link. The group made several suggestions and observations regarding the layout and function of the page. Sarah Coysh suggested moving some elements of the page around but wondered if the eResources tab is still necessary (faculty predominantly use this function). In fact, the eResources and Course Reserves tabs are now superfluous, given VuFind. If the subject guides list is moved up onto the home page under the catalogue search box, that would leave only the Help tab, the contents of which can be easily moved elsewhere.

ACTION: W Denton to create a revised version of the home page where the tabbed search box has been replaced by one box with no tabs, holding both the catalogue search and subject guides links. The Help information will also need to be moved.


Aaron Lupton, “2. Create an environment of ongoing assessment.”

A Lupton distributed copies of Only Connect #2. Create an environment of ongoing assessment. Last meeting was an overview of the basics in terms of Web Assessment and seeing where we are. A Lupton and W Denton met and discussed a more detailed plan.

  1. Home page assessment. Right now no further action needs to be taken.
  2. Google Analytics will be further monitored to see which pages they wanted to. W Denton will be presenting some information on Google analytics at the spring reception. A Lupton reviewed popular parts of the pages and why.
  3. M Robertson will be going over Libqual and the Library website’s usefulness at the next Library Forum.
  4. There is no assessment plan in place for VuFind Version 2. There are no interface changes expected aside from the advanced search; we are still working on catching up with the usability testing findings from last year. Usability tests could be done after VuFind version 2 is in place, before Version 3, or after Version 3.

L St-Amour commented on relevancy ranking and testing it with Google Analytics, and also more personalized searches. It would also be possible to use Google Analytics not just for the basic analysis of web site activity, but also to track peoples’ paths through the web site and see if expected actions are successful or seem to fail before completion. He again mentioned his fondness for A/B testing.

ACTION: M Robertson to present web-related LibQUAL data at the next meeting.

Mobile-friendly interfaces

Mobile use of our resources is expected to grow. The committee discussed mobile access. L St Amour reiterated his interest in seeing how many people are using what and from where to access the site. There will be much more information on this in the future. Our content management system cannot run a second version of our web site on its own, it can only do one web site at a time. We can look at browser-sniffing, style sheets, and other methods of handling mobile access.

ACTION: W Denton to e-mail R Thompson and Tuan Nguyen about requirements for, a beginning mobile-friendly home page that will have links to the most popular pages on our site.

ACTION: W Denton to send around the mobile usage report from Google Analytics.

ACTION: W Denton to see what Google Analytics knows about IP ranges, which would let us analyze how people use the site differently from different locations.

Library Forum update

ACTION: W Denton to update Library Forum about VuFind updates, a mobile-friendly web site, changes to the tabbed box on the home page, and work on analytics and assessment.


The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 PM.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 4 May 2010 at 2 PM in the SMIL screening room.

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