Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Podcast - Why We Are Not Google: Lessons from a Library Web site Usability Study

Back in September I had the chance to interview Troy Swanson, an Associate Professor / Teaching and Learning Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, IL. In the interview we discussed a paper he published with Public Service Librarian Jeremy Green, also at Moraine Valley Community College. Here's the abstract from that paper published at Elsevier's ScienceDirect.
In the Fall of 2009, the Moraine Valley Community College Library, using guidelines developed by Jakob Nielsen, conducted a usability study to determine how students were using the library Web site and to inform the redesign of the Web site. The authors found that Moraine Valley's current gateway design was a more effective access point to library resources than a mock-up site which incorporated a central-search box on the site homepage. This finding stands in contrast to the observed trends of library Web site design that emphasizes a “Googlized” search.
Troy and Jeremy's findings are very interesting, especially if you are managing/modifying an existing site or are considering creating one. 
You can listen here:

Here's the links Troy refers to in the podcast:
The Next Level (Blockbuster article)by James Surowiecki Jakob Nielsen's Website
The Googlization of Everything (book review)
Why We Are Not Google: Lessons from a Library Web site Usability Study

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