A project to create a more unified library website that addresses users' needs.
Date: January-April 2008
Supervisor: Mike Creech, MLibrary Web Content Manager
My role: Assist with tasks as needed, including analyzing server logs and survey feedback, sketching interface ideas, doing comparative analysis, and conducting user testing
The University of Michigan Library system encompasses 18 libraries on campus. Until very recently, each of these libraries had separate websites that were not tied together, visually or architecturally. Focus groups have found, though, that users think of all the libraries as "the Library" instead of as physical buildings. Therefore, a process has begun to redesign the entire site with an emphasis on finding information instead of where the information is located.
The main goals for the redesign are:
As an intern, I worked with the Library's Web Content Manager to create a new user interface and information architecture for the site. Specifically, I completed tasks such as analyzing large sets of data in order to inform the redesign efforts. This included analyzing server logs and Google Analytics to determine which were the most-accessed pages, and analyzing answers to a survey question about why users were at the library website. For both analyses, I produced summary reports which I presented to the advisory groups for the redesign effort.
I also helped with the design by completing a comparative analysis of other library websites and sketching possible interface ideas - large parts of which are being implemented in the final design today. Finally, I conducted a quick 'semantic differential' study with students, which asked them to rate how they wanted the look and feel of the new website to be on a number of different scales, e.g. friendly <-----> formal. These results were also presented to the advisory groups to support design decisions.