Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Computers in Libraries 2011 Day Three

Today I'm focusing on the "User Experience" and "Mobile Trends & Practice" tracks.

Keynote: Adding Value to Communities
Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project

33% of internet users create content tags
26% post comments on sites and blogs

44% of those living below the poverty line used library connections. They rely on the library AND library staff expertise.

2/3 of library connection users surveyed sought assistance from library staff

Most people (48%) who aren’t using the internet say it’s irrelevant to their lives (6% availability, 18% usability, 21% price, 7% other)

57% of adults use mobile internet connectors.

Mobile Landscape and Location
Joe Murphy, Science Librarian, Coordinator of Instruction & Technology, Yale University
Chanitra Bishop, Instruction & Emerging Technologies Librarian, Indiana University
Jason A. Clark, Digital Initiatives Librarian, Head of Digital Access and Web Services, Montana State University Libraries

New to an area? Use location-based apps to find out what’s available in the area.
Often, you can get coupons/exclusive deals when you check in (targeted marketing)

-Users check in to a place
-Can create a to-do list (like at a museum or library)
-Find out what friends are doing
-Learn about events, restaurants, etc.
-Foursquare is more like a game with mayor, collecting badges, a leader board, and points

Claim your location to run promotions. Merge info already there if someone already put you there. No authority control.

Reward the mayor with a prize. Add locations around the building (ie. reward someone for going to the reference desk, youth desk, etc.) Consider having separate prizes for staff and public.

Provide tips for specific locations or whole place (ie. "Quiet study rooms on upper level"). Add descriptions, photos, and tags.

Usability Express: Recipe for Libraries
Bohyun Kim, Digital Access Librarian, Medical Library, Florida International University
Marissa Ball, Emerging Technologies Librarian, Florida International University

Users do not read content on a web page. They do not want to learn to use your web site. They do not visit your web site every day. They do not return to a site where they could not achieve what they set out to do.

Usable = "Fit for Use"
-Intuitive to use
-Easy to recover from being lost/a mistake
-Conducive to users' performing tasks
-No need to learn at the first visit
-No need to recall at repeated visits.

Libraries offer a lot!
-Many systems, many different services, many details, forms, and departments

Common usability problems & examples
-Promote all things, so nothing stands out. Users have no idea where to focus/start. Information overload is stressful. Improve by taking things out rather than adding them. Be aware of clutter creeping in. Users are happy to click as long as it is mindless and they know that they are getting close.

-Dated look: lowers the credibility of the site. Users suspect outdated content. Replace old icons, images,typography. Update a CSS file to give a new look.

-Too subtle design: users scan web pages like billboard while driving a car at 60 miles/hr. Make visually clear what's most important, valuable, popular. Provide a clear visual hierarchy on the page. Break pages up into clearly defined areas.

-Unclear terms/library jargon. Replace all jargons and acronyms with plain terms.

-Redundant/unnecessary content: unnecessary content = small talk. Users have no interest in small talk (ie. "Library has XX volumes, great atmosphere," etc.). Answer users' questions, not yours. Serve content that users can grab and go. If you have to introduce or explain a link further, you haven't used the right terms for the link itself.

-Bad writing: rewrite a page to be the half of its length, then cut more! Use clear headings, make paragraphs short, start with the key point, make content easy to scan with bullets.

-Design against convention. The best ally of usability is conservativism. Don't give people choices or make them pause. Don't underestimate the value of convention. Be creative without sacrificing usability. Make web sites predictable and familiar to people so they feel comfortable.

-Unintuitive navigation

QR Codes
David Lee King
-Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library did a QR Code scavenger hunt as part of their "Big Read" program. Many signed up, not very many finished. Staff need to be able to answer questions about the program.

Lauren Pressley, Instructional Design librarian, Wake Forest University
Kevin Gilbertson, Web Services Librarian, Z. Smith Reynolds Library, Wake Forest University
-QR codes around the library pointing people to more resources. QR codes on web site that point to places in the physical world, like availability of study rooms, location of stacks, etc.

Jon Lutz, Electronic Services Librarian, FSU College of Law Research Center
-Add QR code to paper handouts & documents that link to PDF copy. Promote library services by creating a bookmark (MS Publisher) with pic of library on one side and several QR codes on the other (links to catalog, electronic resources, research guides, library blog, etc.).

Margaret Clark, Research Librarian, FSU College of Law Research Center
-QR codes on new books that links to online book review of that item. QR codes on legal materials like U.S. Code that links to online version, which might be more up to date than print. Idea: QR code links to online video that explains how to use a tricky resource: Value Line, PDR, microfilm machine, scanner. We're already making these videos - put QR codes in those places!

Digital Collections: Creative Development & User Experience

Channel Yourself: Using YouTube Playlists to Create Online Collections
Cathy Wolford, Systems Librarian, DALNET
-YouTube: Basic account is what DALNET has. Even if you want to apply for an EDU account, you have to have a basic account first. Customize your channel to make it attractive. Send a bulletin update to your subscribers.
-YouTube EDU: intended for educational materials as opposed to promotional. Only one EDU channel allowed per institution. Benefits: can put in a logo and content longer than ten minutes.
-Nonprofit program: Must have IRS 501(c)3 status. Can brand with logo, more capacity, add Google donate checkout box. No political or religious institutions. Public Library Friends programs could use it.
-Playlist: virtual collection of videos. Suggestions: historical anniversaries, local history, current events, music videos. Can add other users' content to your playlist. Most time intensive part of creating a playlist is analyzing video content. Find trusted users that upload quality content. Look for date video was uploaded to get an idea of how permanent it might be. Watch the entire video to see if there is a last-minute bias message added.
-DALNET added to their catalog as embeds. Added URL, title, and summary, plus added 590 to pull together as a catalog search.
-Need to periodically review playlists, especially if you embed in catalog, to make sure videos still exist.
-Could make playlists private part-year, then public at specific times.

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