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…

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Usable Library of the Month – University of Toronto

This month’s usable library is: University of Toronto What I like: New site launched in May, 2015.  For a comparison, see old site snapshot at the Internet Archive. Search upgraded from tabbed to single search box The “Find a specific article” page Excellent outreach on new site design and launch, including why site was redesigned and opportunities…

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Usable Library of the Month – Malden Public Library

This month’s usable library is: Malden Public Library, MA What I like: Recently redesigned site – big improvement over previous site Responsive, mobile-friendly Good use of WordPress Nice integration with social media

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Usable Library of the Month – Stratford Public Library

This month’s usable library is: Stratford Public Library, Ontario What I like: Accessibility options at the top of every page include “change contrast” and “accessibility feedback” Responsive, mobile-friendly Good layouts, readable fonts, good use of white space “Get started” links on home page  

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They love the library (and Google too) – Findings from the “Research Confession Booth”

Last week my colleague Odile Harter and I presented at Designing For Digital, a library UX conference.  We shared preliminary findings from our ongoing user study we call the “Research Confession Booth.” Slides from the conference are available here. The study: Our “Research Confession Booth” is modeled on the “confession cams” from reality TV shows –…

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Usable Library of the Month – Houston Public Library

This month’s usable library is: Houston Public Library What I like: Newly redesigned!  Compare to the previous site (Internet Archive snapshot.) Accessible, mobile, responsive design Breadcrumbs for ease of navigation Main menu labels simplified, jargon removed: “Find it, Learn & Explore, Research, Get Involved.” Events calendar fully integrated into site

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Usable Library of the Week – Westerville Public Library

This week’s usable library is: Westerville Public Library, Ohio What I like: Integrated “Global Search” across site and collections – try searching “Storytime” to see both events and books Suggest-as-you-type feature in search – can easily get to items without viewing full search results Overview  page under “Books, Movies, and More” allows users to easily browse…

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Usable Library of the Week – University of Minnesota

This week’s usable library is: University of Minnesota Library What I like: Minimal space on home page devoted to marketing, leaving more room for user services Right sidebar on home page with direct links to courses and popular  databases, as well as A-Z lists Point-of-need help embedded throughout the site, and presented in user-friendly, easily…

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Usable Library of the Week – Hennepin County Public Library

This week’s usable library is: Hennepin County Public Library What I like: Recently redesigned:  The previous design had a left menu with somewhat jargon-heavy links like “databases” and “subject guides.”  The new site has a modern, fullscreen, fully responsive layout with large, clean fonts, lots of white space, a prominent search box, and less clutter.  The…

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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…

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