At the Ref Desk (1/22/16): WebDev: It all comes down to CSS (and the hackery one uses to indulge the client). [more...]
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Library Webpage Design and the Notion of Conversion Rates

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 8/19/07 (1:45pm)

We're all familiar with usability. Basically it's a way of assessing the success rate of any one task. Successfully finding a book or journal article starting from the home page would be a typical task to measure.

I'm wondering if it might also be helpful to think of task completion in the way marketers do, namely as "conversion rates".

MARKETING 101 FOR LIBRARIES

When librarians use the work "marketing", usually they mean 'getting the word out'. Marketers go one step farther: marketing for them means actually selling a product.

Somebody Please Tell Berwyn ...

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 8/16/07 (4:42pm)
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"Berwyn: At the center of life in Chicago" -- that's what the billboard says. The truth is, they're not at the "center" of life in Chicago. You'd have to dig the whole place up and move it 10 miles to the east -- and even then people might have doubts. More on this desperate campaign here...

Location: 

Second Life - Stick a Fork in It

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 8/12/07 (4:59pm)

This isn't a post trashing Second Life. (For that, go here...)

Rather it's about allocating resources in the face of constantly changing technology. It's about which pony to bet on in the race for relevance. We can't bet on all the ponies so what should we look for when choosing a favorite?

(more after the jump...)

Fonts Are the New Black

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 8/11/07 (2:30pm)

I never thought I'd be reading this in the New York Times -- especially in relation to highway signs:

"Fonts are image, and image is modern America".

Usability Lessons from Real Life

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 8/11/07 (1:06pm)

We're so used to thinking of usability in terms of computing that we forget that there's a whole physical world out there where usability plays just as critical a role. Indeed, lessons from one environment can lead to understanding problems in the other.

Change User Defaults at Your Peril

The first lesson would be 'Change User Defaults at Your Peril'. We know this from search interfaces that wander from unofficial "standards" of market leaders like Google.

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ALA's Got Wireframes

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 8/8/07 (12:42pm)
ala_wireframe.png

ALA has been in the process of redesigning their site for a while now. They did a Usability Assessment Report (pdf) at the end of last year. Now, Rob Carlson, ALA's Manager for Web Development, has just posted a link to wireframes for the new site. He's also posted a link to an online survey for user feedback.

Current Cites for July 2007

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 7/31/07 (2:38pm)

Current Cites Logo

Okay, Current Cites for July 2007 is out the door! I've got 4 citations this time round (and could've added a fifth and sixth). You can find the issue here...

Let the Conversation about the Word 'Conversation' Begin

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 7/30/07 (8:32am)

First, Hillary Clinton begins her campaign for the presidency with the incredibly vapid statement:

Let the Conversation Begin

Then, the Washington Post counters in defense of a completely silly column on her anatomy:

Let the Cleavage Conversation Begin

Now Sam Boyd from Tapped has had enough. He writes:

Can We Not Let the Cleavage Conversation Begin

My suggestion is, maybe we can stop the Conversation long enough to actually say something. I mean, is there anyone who can still use this word with a straight face?

Quote of the Day

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 7/28/07 (1:29pm)

I was looking for a picture of the infamous "Butterfly Ballot" when I came upon this AskTOG article by Bruce Tognazzini.

It's a great read illustrating how lousy design can lead to catastrophic results. One of the best lines is:

This is yet another disgraceful example of what happens when you don't bother to user test.

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LibSite Tops 100 Library-Related Sites!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 7/25/07 (11:55am)

It dawned on me while going over the latest websites listed on LibSite.org, that we're reached and passed the 100 mark!

I've got more on this on the LibSite Blog, but basically, I'm particularly proud of the quality and scope of the sites listed.

I'd like to thank everyone who's contributed so far -- please keep it coming!

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