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Web > Web Committee Notes, 07 December 2010

Web Committee Notes, 07 December 2010

Web Committee Agenda, 07 December 2010

Present: Sarah Coysh (SC), Catherine Davidson (CD), William Denton (WD) (chair), Angela Hamilton (AH), Linda Hansen (LH), Anna St. Onge (ASO), Mark Robertson (MR), Robert Thompson (RT)

Regrets: F. Tim Knight (FTK)

Guest: Julia Borie (JB)

WD wrote down notes about the meeting on the whiteboard as things happened.

Quote of the month: “My middle name should be Usability Testing.” — Catherine Davidson

Notes from previous meeting

Notes from 02 November 2010 were approved.

Business arising

  • ☐ HELD OVER: Site map (WD)
  • ☐ HELD OVER: RefWorks page updates (SC)
  • The eResource from home login successful page was updated and now just directs the user back to the home page. No nicer way of redirecting them is possible.
  • ☐ HELD OVER: Zotero workshop (FTK)
  • ☐ HELD OVER: Beta page (JH, Walter Giesbrecht, FTK).
  • Online Community Working Group: WD, SC, Aaron Lupton, and Elizabeth Watson met with this working group, which ended up only having two students attend. They were interested and helpful, but they were not the ones that had proposed the idea, and we could not determine exactly what some sort of online discussion/community site would do. Elizabeth Watson and MR had further discussions and it was decided to let the matter rest until next year. Further discussion in the Library Student Advisory Group might be necessary; also, it might be more effective to do such a project York-wide instead of making it library-specific.

Other web-related news and updates

  • Feedback activity. WD reported that there had been two brief notes, but for months now there has been almost no usage of the UserVoice feedback service.

    ☐ ACTION: WD to extract all the data possible and then cancel the UserVoice account and have the Feedback button removed from our site.
  • CD had seen examples of tools from Counting Opinions used to do surveys and get opinions from library users at Drexel University’s library. Can we use it, or something similar, here? What questions might we ask? What other usability testing tools could we use? Possibilities: Morae, Infomaki (in action).
  • Upcoming home page features. CD would like to see more rotating/randomly-selected pictures, highlighting things from the archives and our eReources.
  • ☐ ACTION: WD to investigate click-tracking on home page special features, so we know how often they are followed.
  • ☐ ACTION: WD and CD to look at whether it is possible to see if circulation and usage are affected when something is featured on the home page.
  • Printing ILLed articles from the web, with Relais ILL software. York, Ottawa, Western, and Laurier are taking part in a trial with this, so it’s at an early stage.

2009-2010 annual report

The online copy of the Web Committee Annual Report 2009-2010 was missing section 1. WD would fix this immediately after the meeting. Any comments on the revised report should be made as soon as possible.

Given that caveat, the report was approved and will be taken to the Library Computing Committee.

Subject guides and eResource best bets

SC gave an update on the Subject Guides Working Group. The last thing to be decided about which product we use is whether we should go with CampusGuides (which other groups around York could use) instead of merely LibGuides.

The eResource best bets application is now working. The data remains to be entered, but the system is ready. SC thanked Taras Danylak for his work on this. Related subject guides are automatically connected and suggested through program codes.

Question: How should these be listed on the home page? We looked at various library web sites to see how they had handled similar situations, including McGill, Boston College, Princeton, and Yale, among others. We arrived at three possibilities to test:

  1. Add “Articles and Databases” (or “Aritcles and more” or “Find articles,” etc.)tab to the search box. In it, have a drop-down list of the eResource subjects. Leave Subject Guides where it is.
  2. Same as #1, but move Subject Guides to a tab as well.
  3. Move Subject Guides to a tab in the search box, and put the eResource subject listing where the subject guides are now.

The subject guides are the more important resource: they embody the knowledge of a librarian with expert knowledge on a subject, and are the best resources we have for students to use. The eResource best bets are extremely useful, but secondary in importance. As well, when LibGuides (or CampusGuides) is implemented and ready for public use next summer, the subject guides will be better than ever.

☐ ACTION: WD, SC, and someone else to test in January, ready for implementation in February.

Mobile interface

We looked at The VuFind mobile theme is not good enough as it is, and work will be required to make it usable. The VuFind core developement group is working on it, and it could also be put into the computing plan. Some work remained to be done on the other pages, but it was incomplete as it stood.

A Mobile Sites and Applications Working Group has been started, with membership from across York. WD, John Dupuis, and Tuan Nguyen are members. WD reported he would be attending their first meeting the next day.

☐ ACTION: WD to report back on the Mobile Sites and Applications Workiing Group.

International students

Juliya Borie proposed a new section for our web site aimed at international students.

She presented a very useful and well-planned project which everyone greeted with acclaim. LibGuides will be a perfect place for this content, it seemed.

☐ ACTION: Aaron Lupton to set up JB with a test LibGuides account, so she can begin work.


The meeting adjourned at 4:10 pm. The next meeting will be on Monday 17 January 2011, at 2 PM in 503 Scott.

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