Greane Tree Technology is the successful bidder for the redesign project. In advance of the first meeting with them, A. Downing held focus groups with students to gather data to inform the initial discussion. Here are some of the findings:
What students already go to the web site to do (and we should make very simple to accomplish):
1. Find Books – Textbooks for courses and books recommended by instructors (i.e., known items), but also items that they are seeking on their own to support their class work. Students do not think that we should give equal attention to other formats (DVDs, CDs, etc.) on the home page. They also need to check the status of what they have found and perform functions such as renewal. Students want an easy way to search for e-books. It was also clear that they tend to believe that all e-books require an e-reader device that is apart from their laptop or desktop computer. They want to know what books have been recommended by their peers (especially previous students in a course) more often than a librarian or instructor.
2. Search Databases -They use only a small fraction of our total titles. Federated search interests them greatly.
3. They look for tutorials, but think of them as help sessions. They look for help in areas that may not be associated directly with the library (e.g., Excel).
Other factors to keep in mind:
1. Keep text to a minimum. Whenever possible, use images and icons to convey information. They do not linger on the home page long enough to read lists.
2. Locate search boxes at the top of the home page.
3. Locate library hours at the top of the home page.
4. Place a reference chat button on pages where assistance may be required, such as at the results screen of a federated search.
5. Arrange services by those most heavily used. Order all lists by frequency of use or in some cases alphabetical.
Greane Tree will supply a map of the current site so that we can make decisions about organization. We will provide them with a description of how we intend to handle the functions in the current site that rely on custom code. BCTC has identified superior substitutes. We will give them access to a collection of images that we would like incorporated into the site. We will identify the first 10 announcements (graphics with text) that will occupy the main slide show on the home page.