Archive for the ‘Website Design’ Category

Library websites have come a long way in the past ten years, however there are still advances that can be made. While reading a number of articles (as listed in the references below), I have compiled a list of ten criteria for effective library website design.

  1. Simple navigation with search box on each page for easy access to resources
  2. Regularly updated website to help engage clients
  3. Promoting library resources
  4. Segment website to market to different groups of users – kids, teens, adults
  5. Use bright colours, animation, sounds for kids to promote a fun, happy experience
  6. Mobile friendly pages – text only options
  7. Using social networking to deliver targeted messaging to different groups of clients and promote two way communications
  8. Using social networking for reference services (Ask A Librarian)
  9. Allowing interaction in form of wikis or blogs etc (Trust your users)
  10. Not only allowing feedback, but posting feedback and responses on website 

To test out my criteria, I investigated the Melbourne Library Service website (http://www.citylibrary.org.au) to see how it used website design to meet its library clients’ needs.

  1. The website is very easy to navigate, with a simple menu down the left hand side. The search box at the top of the page is shown on every page on the site. It provides a simple search of the entire library’s collection. An advanced search is also available.
  2. The home page contains news of the latest events, which is updated very regularly, along with other news, such as the recent refurbishment of one of the branches. It would be helpful if the pages included a last updated date on the bottom to show currency.
  3. The library promotes its services well. On the home page, they currently have advertisements for their new Japanese collection, Online Information and Elibrary downloads. These advertisements change regularly.
  4. The City Library has two pages targeting particular age groups, a kids page and a teen page. The kids page appears to be targeted more towards parents, rather than the kids themselves. The teens page has lots of links to resources for teens, but it is not designed in a way that teens would be engaged with it.
  5. Both the kids and teens pages need to be redesigned using design features and technology that will attract these groups, including games, video and sound.
  6. The website does not have a mobile friendly or text only option.
  7. Melbourne Library Service have a Facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Melbourne-Library-Service/118103338213507) where the staff interact with clients and promote their resources.
  8. The website does not include an online reference service, either on their website or via their Facebook fan page.
  9. City Library does not have any wikis or blogs that clients can interact with staff on. There is this feature on the Facebook fan page however.
  10. There is a feedback form on the library website, however previous feedback and responses have not been published. Publishing this information will help promote transparency and help clients trust that the library is listening and responding to their comments.

References