The Olive Tree
In keeping with the new year, Fogler Library introduced a new top level web page to our user community the first week of January. The redesigned page had several key goals in mind.
We wanted to introduce the concept of “quick links,” bringing some of our more most valuable services to the top level rather than a couple level clicks away. As real estate on the top page fills up quickly, we elected to use a tab approach and place the quick links front and center with interactive windows. Functioning much like tabs in a file folder system, the links lead to our subject portals, renewals, reserves, and our indexes and databases list.
As URSUS continues to be the best option for the most comprehensive search of Fogler Library resources, it holds a key position on the left-hand column of the page. Again, an interactive window allows a patron to jump right in with a title search; the most popular search option indicated in recent usage statistics. A quick perusal of the pulldown menu leads to other popular options: keyword, author and subject.
The aesthetics of the page are intended to build on what has been received best in past focus group studies. Fairly simple, consistent text fonts and some quiet space for the eye to rest have been welcomed. We balance this with visual interest and a sense of the library as place where patrons can find information specialists welcoming their more challenging research endeavors.
We’ve introduced a photograph of the library on the front page that we plan to update seasonally. We shortly plan to introduce more graphics on department or service level pages, starting with the Learning Materials Center.
On our right hand column, we lead with our “Ask a Librarian” service that gives direct access to professional librarians with in-depth expertise on both general reference and subject specific resources. This is followed by dynamic links to time sensitive information under What’s New which we now offer in Really Simple Syndication (RSS) newsfeed format.
Building on a programmed draft from Fogler Web Team member Albie Dunn who was inspired by Bowdoin College’s approach, the page was reviewed and refined by the rest of the Team, a representation of library staff with public service and technical skills. We proceeded with input from other library staff and invaluable feedback on the prototype from the Fogler Library Focus Group. The focus group is a cross section of students, staff and faculty who have volunteered to test new web site developments through prepared queries. There are no right or wrong answers per se on this form of test but a red flag does go up if a patron has to take more than 3-4 steps to get to a solution. This is often an indicator that our web navigation features can use some tweaking.
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