To Bento or Not to Bento – Displaying search results

Many academic institutions – including my own – have moved to a “bento-box” style search result display:  a single search box that returns side-by-side results from multiple library search tools, e.g., library catalog, article index, institutional repository, website, LibGuides, etc.  In this post, I explore the pros and cons of “bento-ing.”  Why to Bento Eliminates…

Continue reading

Usable Library of the Week – Universiteit Gent

This week’s usable library is: Universiteit Gent, Belgium What I like: Their Blacklight search interface: lots of white space and large fonts for clean, readable look and feel Search detail includes “For Librarians” and “For Developer” tabs with access to MARC/XML/JSON records as well as links to open datasets Both Permalink and Citing are prominent…

Continue reading

Usable Library of the Week – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This week’s usable library is: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign What I like: Site recently redesigned – big improvement over their previous site! Library Technology shows available items at a glance – from flash drives to dry erase board accessories Libraries and Hours display what libraries are currently open Search tool returns “bento-box” like results…

Continue reading

Why library websites should not be designed by committee – Reblog of “The Ugly Truth About Library Websites”

I just read this post by M. Ryan Hess from 2013 and found it well worth a reblog: The Ugly Truth About Library Websites Hess points out that the poor usability of  library websites is often due to how they are created: by committees of  librarians, with little or no usability training, who are under…

Continue reading

Top 5 problems with library websites – a review of recent usability studies

What are the most common UX problems with academic library websites and library tools?  I looked at 16 studies conducted over the past two years, and here is what I learned: What does that mean?  Library jargon This was by far the most cited problem: 10 out of 16 studies reported library jargon.  Not surprising,…

Continue reading

Usable Library of the Week – Whittier College

This week’s usable library is: Whittier College   What I like: Intuitive home page Finding full text articles visually explains how to read an article Services and support page is clearly divided into student and faculty menus

Continue reading

Journals, articles, and databases: Guiding users through the e-resource maze

My library recently launched a new user-friendly journals page.  This page (which I did not create – credit goes to my talented colleagues!) is a great improvement over the previous design.  It has started me thinking about some of the challenges libraries face when providing e-resource access points. Academic library web sites usually have pages labeled…

Continue reading

Usable Library of the Week – Montana State University

This week’s usable library is: Montana State University   What I like: Simple, understandable home page design:  “Find” “Request” and “Services” Jargon-free: ILL is under “Request” Articles page subjects list: “I want to do research in…”

Continue reading

Usable Library of the Week – Portland State University

This week’s usable library is: Portland State University What I like: Library DIY research tutorials LibGuides are well-integrated: same look and feel Course guides (LibGuides) are separated from subject guides Available computers widget

Continue reading