Your Library Website Sucks and It’s Your Fault

Library catalogs were originally built by experts for experts and that doesn’t work for non-experts (patrons). Teach carpentry, not how to use the hammer – we are teaching how to use the hammer (the catalog being the hammer). Start with Why Do We Have A Website? Libraries add friction, we need to reduce the amount of friction involved in the process of getting our information out.

Who is your website for, anyway? Not librarians – 100% of your patrons (more than come through the door, more than the public services staff support).
User experience design is expert listening, not expert intuition
* User Research
* Feedback Loop (complete every one – make it really easy to get to you and respond – keep a spreadsheet of every feature request w/email address so that when something gets done you can let folks know)
* Usability Test – all the time (monthly at Grand Valley)
* Web Analytics – Google Analytics or Reinvigorate for heat map
Suggestion to follow @UXYoda on Twitter
You know what they need – now do that, and only that.
Work on the website is 90% political
* Bad library websites are a symptom (of a non-user focused library cultural)
Road House – Dalton’s (as played by Patrick Swayze) 3 tips for improving your organization
* Never underestimate your opponents – expect the unexpected
* Take it outside — never start anything inside unless it’s absolutely necessary
* Be nice
Be patient, understand the culture, get everyone to participate, test and iterate – don’t redesign, strategic compromise, ask forgiveness, eternal vigilance, be consistent, write concisely and clearly,
Matthew showed the iterative changes made over 5 months that became a redesign
Rocket Surgery made easy – Steve Krug

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