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Building the Digital Branch

designing effective library websites
David Lee King Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Defining the Digital Branch

about the library

no collection

traditional website no staff no interaction no meetings

It¶s ABOUT the library It¶s not THE library

digital branch...
building staff collection community

a digital branch has...


a digital branch has...


real staff

a digital branch has...


real collection

a digital branch has...


real community

a digital branch is the actual library, just online

A Guide to Usability

What is usability?

Creating your Test: Questions
‡ figure out what to test ‡ create a question that tests that ‡ write specific questions

Test Description
‡ ³The goal of this study is to evaluate how people find information using our website. I will ask 15 questions and would like you to think out loud while looking for the answer. I will time you, and will stop you after 3 minutes have passed. Don¶t worry if you can¶t find the answer every time±we are testing our Web site, not you! Each answer can be found using the library¶s Web site. The test should take no more than 20 minutes. Do you have any questions?´


Administer the test
‡ Think of this step as the consumer ³taste test´ ‡ Administering the test is the easiest part of a usability study. ‡ read the explanation, whip out your stopwatch, and say ³go.´

Analyzing the test

Common Problems
‡ Wording Problems ‡ Design Problems ‡ Complete your usability test, redesign, and then « do it all again.

Live Card Sorting

handout #1

Q&A Time!

Gathering Info & Planning

handout #2

how I summarize mindjet findings

Q&A Time!

Building it!

handout #3

sitemap pic here - what to Sitemap do with it

Creative Brief
- Purpose - Goals - Primary Audience - Why viewers use section - Tasks section accomplishes - Content requirements - Functionality requirements

mockup pic & explanation

touching base with everyone

release date

Q&A Time!

What¶s Next?

the day after Opening Day

web analytics

rinse, repeat

Q&A Time!

Creating Community Online

listen for ...

how to listen


start conversations


stuff to remember

checking in

treat the mayor!


new service? start here...

Planning for Expansion

Q & A Time!