An interesting study from Scott Jones and Angie Thorpe in the latest issue of the Journal of Web Librarianship:
Jones and Thorpe systematically analyzed library website homepage content at 313 medium-sized academic institutions (3,000-9,999 FTE). They looked at 118 different design elements, including how web scale discovery services such as EDS or Summon were presented on the home page.
What they found:
- 40% of the libraries had a discovery service
- 44% of libraries with a discovery service gave it a library brand name
- 30% used the vendor brand name
- 26% used no brand name at all
- 52% presented discovery as part of a multi-tabbed search box
- 34% presented discovery in it’s own search box
- 67% provided context for the discovery search
I recommend checking out the article for useful data on other design elements, including use of social media (Facebook 68%, Twitter 39%), librarian chat (46%), most common page links (97% link to university), and more. This is data that library web designers can put to immediate use.