Just in time for the spring fashion season, Ohio University Libraries is previewing its new websitedesign. A team from the Libraries has been remodeling the website, making it more visually appealing and accessible. It comes complete with new tools, easy to navigate tabs and a brighter place to begin searching.
The Libraries’ staff wants the new website to fully meet users’ needs. In order to achieve this goal they are soliciting feedback. A prominent link to the new site is featured on the Libraries home page to encourage users to try it out. On the new site, at the top of every page, a link is available to provide suggestions and feedback on the new design.
“The primary goals of the new website are, first and foremost, to make the most-needed information available as easily as possible, but also to update the look and feel to be in line with the University website and to improve our internal workflow efficiencies,” said Kelly Broughton, assistant dean for research and education services.
The Libraries’ new website adopts a green and white Ohio University mast head, which better ties in with the University website. But the Libraries’ maintains its own personality with colorful artwork lining the top, and Libraries-centric news articles and events running on the main page. Individual databases, tabs and “Ask Us” links are easily visible and accessible. Readily available on the home page is the “My Library Account” link, which allows students, faculty and community members alike to quickly access and keep up to date on their own library records and renew their materials.
Researching also becomes easier with the new design allowing researchers to automatically search ALICE, journal articles and databases with one search through the new Discovery tool. If scholars only want to search specific databases, or ALICE alone, that option is also available with a quick switch of a tab.
To develop the site, a team in Alden researched other websites, read literature on website design and academic libraries, and performed user testing. They are continuing user testing while construction is underway in order to work out the small kinks that users may encounter.
Until now, the test website was closely guarded. Only Alden staff and a few campus administrators have had an opportunity to see the new design, but even so, several features were praised by staff and administrators alike, such as the new search tool.
“I cannot wait to use it,” said Megan Tomeo, engineering librarian and member of the libraries’ website development team. “It isn’t that the current website is all bad. It is [just] that we have learned from it as well as our users.”
The new website, though available for use, is still being constructed and will not become the primary website until the summer. With the advancements already set in place and with your help through input and feedback, the new Ohio University Libraries’ website will be a functioning hub for library resources that is free of frustrations and hassle.