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Findability: Information, Not Location

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Information about Findability: Information, Not Location

Published on April 10, 2008

Author: KenVarnum

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Learn how to foster user-friendly digital information flows by eliminating silos, highlighting context and improving findability to create a unified web presence. Hear how the University of Michigan Libraries' (MLibrary) are reinventing the libraries' web sites to emphasize information over the path users previously took to access it. By elevating information over its location, users are not forced to know which library is the "right" starting place. The talk includes tips for your library web redesign process and user-centric design process.
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Session A305 Findability: Information Not Location University Library University of Michigan Mike Creech Web Content Manager [email_address] Ken Varnum Web Systems Manager [email_address]

Introduction/Overview A Brief History of Our Version of Reality The current collection of sites for the Library System has grown with no particular plan and each one has its own design and architecture. The sites correspond with previous library organizational structures but really make no sense to our users or even to some staff members. Beyond basic information, users need to know which of the libraries holds particular materials and how to use the site of that library.

A Brief History of Our Version of Reality

The current collection of sites for the Library System has grown with no particular plan and each one has its own design and architecture.

The sites correspond with previous library organizational structures but really make no sense to our users or even to some staff members.

Beyond basic information, users need to know which of the libraries holds particular materials and how to use the site of that library.

What We Have Now About 33 sites served from lib.umich.edu About 52,000 pages of content Does not include: Public Health library Digital library Scholarly publishing Institutional repository Every month Average of ~3,000,000 pages viewed Average of ~500,000 users served

About 33 sites served from lib.umich.edu

About 52,000 pages of content

Does not include:

Public Health library

Digital library

Scholarly publishing

Institutional repository

Every month

Average of ~3,000,000 pages viewed

Average of ~500,000 users served

My God, What Have We Done?











You get the picture

"I Can't Find Anything." This is how the problem was presented In discussions with management and staff: Navigation to known objects difficult Search & findability a challenge Branding (as we’ve seen) uneven at best Sense of place totally absent

This is how the problem was presented

In discussions with management and staff:

Navigation to known objects difficult

Search & findability a challenge

Branding (as we’ve seen) uneven at best

Sense of place totally absent

Phased Approach A band-aid Consistent navigation and branding Major surgery Reinventing the entire web presence

A band-aid Consistent navigation and branding

Major surgery Reinventing the entire web presence

Short-Term Goals Standard global navigation Extending “MLibrary” branding More consistency in layout Brought content into sharper relief Moved toward unified web site for system

Standard global navigation

Extending “MLibrary” branding

More consistency in layout

Brought content into sharper relief

Moved toward unified web site for system

Phase I: MLibrarification This included most of the library sites. Goal: Consistent navigation and sense of place Out of scope defined by Significant programming overhead Significant complexity of pages Volume of usage vs. size of site

This included most of the library sites.

Goal: Consistent navigation and sense of place

Out of scope defined by

Significant programming overhead

Significant complexity of pages

Volume of usage vs. size of site

More MLibrarification Reviewed navigation elements each site used Created a global scheme to incorporate consistency Extended the MLibrary brand Preserved local autonomy over look and feel of each site’s content during the transition

Reviewed navigation elements each site used

Created a global scheme to incorporate consistency

Extended the MLibrary brand

Preserved local autonomy over look and feel of each site’s content during the transition

 

 

 

Long-Term Goals Engineer a more effective search solution Break down the silos that hold our information Create an ordered and consistent navigation scheme Provide users an opportunity to build pathways we did not see

Engineer a more effective search solution

Break down the silos that hold our information

Create an ordered and consistent navigation scheme

Provide users an opportunity to build pathways we did not see

Phase II: Information not Location Eliminating silos Fostering community Highlighting context Improving findability Syndicating content

Eliminating silos

Fostering community

Highlighting context

Improving findability

Syndicating content

Phase II: Process Focus Groups Formal Survey One Question Survey Server Access Log and Google Analytics Analysis Initiate on-going conversations with MLibrary stakeholders Review and assess existing content

Focus Groups

Formal Survey

One Question Survey

Server Access Log and Google Analytics Analysis

Initiate on-going conversations with MLibrary stakeholders

Review and assess existing content

What We've Found Users want importance to be obvious Users don’t differentiate between silos, tools and services Users come to the library website with a task, not necessarily a resource in mind

Users want importance to be obvious

Users don’t differentiate between silos, tools and services

Users come to the library website with a task, not necessarily a resource in mind

Process So Far Generated buy-in from administration Extended the brand across all sites Established Advisory Groups Approach User Interface Design Information Architecture Technology Faculty Communicating with library staff Team blog Staff newsletter

Generated buy-in from administration

Extended the brand across all sites

Established Advisory Groups

Approach

User Interface Design

Information Architecture

Technology

Faculty

Communicating with library staff

Team blog

Staff newsletter

MTagger: Down with Silos!

Collections Five at present MLibrary Mirlyn Digital Images Scholarly Publishing Other In development MBooks Link Resolver

Five at present

MLibrary

Mirlyn

Digital Images

Scholarly Publishing

Other

In development

MBooks

Link Resolver

Getting Stuff Out RSS Feeds API JSON PHP Styled HTML

RSS Feeds

API

JSON

PHP

Styled HTML

Tagging from Tag Cloud

What Gets Tagged

Who Does the Tagging

Next Steps Select and implement a CMS Select an open-source search tool Develop the information architecture and user interface for the unified web presence Migrate content and applications into the CMS Production server live by end of year

Select and implement a CMS

Select an open-source search tool

Develop the information architecture and user interface for the unified web presence

Migrate content and applications into the CMS

Production server live by end of year

Questions?

Thank You http://lib.umich.edu Slides http://www.varnum.org/papers/cil2008.ppt Mike Creech Web Content Manager [email_address] Ken Varnum Web Systems Manager [email_address]

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