Wednesday, January 07, 2009

What the website's all about - getting things done!

I love this posting from David Lee King , who reminds us that the library's website is about getting things done -

This thought dovetails nicely with our activities in preparation for usability testing of the website. We're trying to prepare questions. There were some thoughts about asking general questions about the website to our testers as follow ups, but I'm very interested in getting a look at the tasks. The point of a website today is not for brochure-ware. People don't have time for that type of thing. They're going to your site to do something, whether it's to find out your hours, contact a librarian, get directions to your place, or get access to your collections (online or offline).

The key to successful testing, of course, will be whether or not we manage to get at the central tasks done on our site. We've asked our front-line folks - the reference librarians and people who answer calls from the public (in various divisions, for example) - to give us feedback on those tasks. If they do so accurately, our testing should be extremely helpful in shaping where we go next with our website.

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