UEG Notes, 14 May 2009
UEG Notes, 14 May 2009
Present: S Allison-Cassin, H Cao, S Coysh, W Denton, J Drexler, R Laskaris, A McGaughey, A Milne, R Nariani, T Olshen, D Perlin, M Salmon, L Sloniowski, A Taves, D Yanofsky
The left navigation bar would be consistent across YUL pages, unlike now.
Quick Search would search both catalogue and e-resources (i.e. VuFind).
Links to most popular databases by subject could be added.
Reserves are not connected to VuFind, so it would be same old Reserves search.
Stacy: observed the site header is different from the header used for Faculty pages, but has the same color scheme, so may not be noticed.
Julie: observed all the designs lack YUL branding. Could use pile of books logo. Top of the l.h. navigation bar could have title “YUL”.
Toni: observed the first two designs looked more like a research library’s, and expressed concern about designing from a marketing instead of a usability POV. Also expressed concern that all libraries be listed (like in 2nd design). Include book a study room under popular links. Liked title “Libraries and Collections”.
Anne: suggested deleting “Hours/Libraries” from Prototype 1 as it is already included on the page.
Haiyun: declared the YUL site should have a mix of marketing and usability elements.
Toni: asserted that marketing and usability elements are fine, but they should not be mixed (e.g. in Popular Links). She also believed the Events Calendar was somewhat larger than necessary.
Sarah: noted that access for persons with disabilities is a University-wide concern and not solely a YUL-wide one.
Toni: argued that social networking features (e.g. Twitter) are not appropriate for research library web sites, and noted that P4 minimizes the importance of most important library site functions, i.e. search.
The general consensus was that library hours should be pushed up and displayed on the main page.
Julie: stressed the importance of optimizing screen real estate (e.g. avoiding duplication of links [e.g. link to "Libraries" on left, and list of libraries on right]). Also suggested making Library News a link since it is not popular.
Bill: pointed out that the final design would not be limited to a 4×3 aspect ratio, and could extend “below” the screen.
Adam: supported adhering to the YU standard left navigation sidebar. Suggested getting rid of “e-resources” sign-on. Cautioned that popular links are a “self-fulfilling” prophecy. Asked that there be a cookie crumb trail built into the website.
Lisa: mentioned the idea that a library web site should mirror the library’s physical space (in terms of services and material promoted and offered). Questioned language around “workshops” and felt that “tutorials” was a better designation. Suggested a link to CBC for current news.
Anita: stressed the importance of vigilantly updating library hours, if they are going to be featured prominently on the main page.
Bill: said that hours are a solvable problem.
Toni: suggested the Zone of Engagement box (new book covers in the prototypes) could be used for campus alerts (e.g. closures).
Ricardo: supported minimizing the real estate devoted to statistically unpopular features, and determining guidelines by which to allot real estate to such elements (e.g. Library News vs. Workshops vs. Donate).
Adam: noted that although Library News is unpopular, it is important, and also that Workshops should be prominent because grad students are frequently frustrated in trying to find information about them.
Anita: added that Library News is useful for its display of library job opportunities. Could have a link at the bottom of the page for “job opportunities”. Liked the idea of the l.h. nav for consistency.
Others suggested that job opportunities could always be added along the bottom of the page or in some other place, seasonally.
Julie: expressed concern that information would not be kept current, and supported appointing a staff member to ensure outdated information gets weeded from the site in a timely fashion. She added that such content management permissions ought to be strictly controlled.
Toni: suggested that content management should be centralized at the ULO.
Stacy: observed the titles of the search box tabs might be confusing if VuFind is intended to eventually search articles and e-resources, too.
Daniel: Suggested that we not use the word RACER but “Interlibrary Loan”.
Julie: observed the word choice of “Catalogue” among “Articles” and “eResources” leaves “Books” hanging.
Toni: observed the word choice of “Subject” is potentially problematic, since “subjects” per se no longer exist. Also suggested “anywhere” rather than “all fields”.
Sarah: noted that word choices can be determined at a later forum.
Lisa: noted that the popularity of articles in general may be influenced by perhaps excessive promotion of articles on the home page, when another type of material might be more appropriate. She also expressed reservations about promoting Scholars Portal in this way, suggesting it might be more of an investment choice than a usage choice. She suggested a tab for books and a tab for “films and DVDs”
Sarah: asserted that we use Scholars Portal because students aren’t finding articles, so we’re doing something wrong; if there’s something better, we could use it.
Bill: said that the choice of number and names of tabs is a solvable problem.
Sarah: said that some of these decisions can be determined later via user testing.
Adam: said that the Subject Guides will need a major overhaul to overcome these difficulties.
Julie: said that the site should have a list of all databases by subject, and do a better job of promoting multidisciplinary databases.
Bill: said that database listing by subject is a solvable problem.
Stacy: observed that subjectifying the A-Z list of databases would be an ambitious project.
Adam: pointed out that Dublin Core metadata could be used here.
Marcia: pointed out that we have MARC records for the databases, so we should be able to import them the same way we do for e-books.
Bill: said that database listing by subject is a solvable problem. He also said that the left-nav, library names, hours, search box (with word choice and tabs TBD), and constant freshness would be elements worked into the next two designs.
Sarah: said that the “Search the original catalogue” option will remain at least until the new catalogue gains full functionality.
The general consensus was that P1 and P2 were most popular, in that order, and that the next two designs should incorporate a mix of elements from both.
Sarah will mock up the next two designs, which will be turned into web pages and tested in June. The choice of final design will be presented at Library Forum.