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Packin’ up, shippin’ out April 17, 2009

Posted by davidjdahl in Activity.
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Thanks for your input!  From the looks of it, most of you like the prototype for the homepage (70% of thumbs are pointing up!).  For those who aren’t as impressed, we’re still working on things – let us know what you’d like to see.

So what have we been working on?

The library web committee has been hard at work over the past two weeks, putting together a preliminary web-based prototype.  Now, we’ve shipped it out (emailed it, that is) to the usability lab at University of Baltimore for some offsite usability testing over the next few weeks.  Three groups of graduate students studying interaction design will spend hours testing participants, analyzing results, and compiling reports for us to use as we refine our designs.

What is usability?

Usability is what makes your VCR “a piece of junk” when it eats your videotape even though you put it in upside-down, it’s why your car has keyless entry (those locks are hard to find in the dark), and it’s why everyone loves Apple products. Oh no wait, that’s aesthetics (jk).

Usability is the perspective that every mistake the user makes reflects poorly on the product’s (in this case, the website’s) design.  By focusing on the usability of our design, we can produce a website that is easy to learn, use, and remember.  Though it’s most likely impossible to make something 100% usable, it’s a goal that we feel is worthy of our continued effort.

Stay tuned for results…

Data for me, data for you… April 3, 2009

Posted by davidjdahl in Assessment, Feedback.
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We’ve collected a lot, or should I say A LOT, of data from all of you (thanks!).  This data is now available for your viewing pleasure.  Feel free to take a look.  We’ve analyzed and interpreted the data, but we’d be interested in your interpretations as well, so please post your comments.

Here’s some of what we’ve observed:

  • Research databases, journals/periodicals, library catalogs, citing sources are the most used links on our site, so those should probably be easy to find and access.
  • You would like a more visually engaging website (i.e. less text, more images).
  • You would like access to electronic resources to be easier from off-campus.

Look forward to some basic sketches/prototypes making their way to the blog soon!