TAYLOR, MI LIBRARY

 

OVERVIEW

In a request by the Taylor, Michigan library director, they are in need of having a complete redesign of
the website. Users currently have a difficult time finding information in the abundance of data that lives
on http://taylor.lib.mi.us/814/Library. There’s a need for easy access to information and visual redesign
through reworking navigation systems and a rework of the organizational schemes, be it through; topic,
task, or audience scheme. The library site includes the online catalog, the schedule of preschool storytimes, and meeting room application forms. One last thing to note; all development is done in-house and lacking funding so the redesign must not incur costs to the library.

 

PROBLEM STATEMENT

With limited funding; what key elements of the Taylor Michigan Public Library can be redesigned for easy access to information?

 

USERS & AUDIENCE

Interviews of library staff yielded the following insights. A majority of library guests they had interaction
with were between the ages of 12-28. The main uses of the libraries resources of this group was for
searching scholarly articles and books for homework; and for the use of entertainment media such as
TV, movies, audiobooks and video games. Two library guest personas were derived from the interviews.

 

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

My roles and responsibilities were broken down into these 7 weekly deliverables.

  1. Create and draft proposals.

  2. Research library users.

  3. Interview library staff and users.

  4. Redesign of the website is proposed.

  5. Recruit and test taxonomy of site.

  6. Creation of wireframes.

  7. Testing of wireframes with TreeJack.

 

PROCESS & WHAT WAS DONE

I conducted interviews with two users of the library website. Through these interviews, two personas were created. With these personas created I could reference them at each additional step to verify the user's needs are met and kept in mind.

The research showed these three high priority tasks that the users need to complete.

  1. Find online articles/e-books and be able to read them.

  2. Search for scholarly articles.

  3. View a selection of entertainment options (movies, TV, audiobooks, games).

 
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The research also found these 3 tasks the users need to complete but determined each is a lower priority for each user.

  1. Search for physical books.

  2. Reserve a book.

  3. Age-restricted content (12-17)

 

A navigation structure is chosen based on the task data above. The classification scheme chosen moving forward for the navigation structure is a task-based classification scheme. With this scheme, all similar tasks are grouped accordingly. This might include a category for digital media which would contain, audiobooks, DVD rentals, streaming media, and games. This is the best choice as users will more intuitively find what they are looking for and be able to browse similar media.

A content analysis is performed for the site as-is. After listing each content page for the site, it was discovered, alarmingly, that the current state of the site does not support a single task feature listed above. Users are unable to search or browse for any media. The current state of the site acts as a landing page with some pertinent information about the library itself and not the content of its actual library. With each page, a recommendation is listed to keep, rework, or delete. Because of the key missing pages, a list of pages needed to support user tasks was created underneath the main content.

 
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Initially, the goal for the site map was to visualize how users perform the identified tasks on the current site. The site as is does not support any of the tasks identified thus the creation of this flow could not be completed in its current state. A new site map is proposed based off of the user's required tasks.

Wireframes are created based on the content analysis, site map, research findings, and design best practices.

 
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A list of 5 tasks was given to 5 users. The tasks were aimed at testing the proposed taxonomy and organization structure of the website to determine if the library guest would be able to complete predefined tasks that were identified in the learning and identification phase of this study.


The task list is as follows;

  1. Find where online articles and e-books are located.

  2. Find where to view entertainment media.

  3. Find where to reserve entertainment media.

  4. Find where to search for books.

  5. Find where to reserve a book​.


The study used a 3rd party software named TreeJack for the usability test

 

OUTCOMES & LESSONS LEARNED

 

Of the 5 tasks from the study, only two tasks were not completed with 100% success rates. A 100% success rate was determined by the user being able to navigate the site structure and locate the correct page for the task. The two tasks that were not able to be completed fully by all participants were, Find where to view entertainment media, and find where to reserve entertainment media. In the taxonomy tree tested by each user, the entertainment media is listed as Digital Media – Movies, TV, Audiobooks, Games; with the option to reserve the same media through Reserve Digital Media.

 

Lessons learned: 


With the results from the study, it can be determined that either the task question mislead the users by defining digital media as entertainment media, or that the taxonomy for these two needs to be refined and worded in a way that better serves library guests. The proposed changes to the taxonomy tree are;

  • Change Digital Media – Movies, TV, Audiobooks, Games to Entertainment Media (Movies, TV, Audiobooks, Games).

  • Change Reserve Digital Media to Reserve Entertainment Media (Movies, TV, Audiobooks, Games).


These changes should lead to an increased success rate when trying to reserve movies, TV shows, audiobooks, and games at the library.