Friday, December 23, 2011

10 Criteria for evaluating library website design...

Based on my reading of Mathews (2009), Lazaris (2009), McBurnie (2007) and Governor et al (2009) I have developed the following

10 criteria with which to evaluate a library website:

1. Visually appealing (use of coordinated colours and fonts, photos and pictures)
2. Organised and segmented efficiently
3. Search functions included
4. Feedback function provided
5. Ask a librarian feature clearly provided
6. Ensure two click policy utilised where possible
7. Audio features
8. Main traffic areas stand out for user
9. Interaction through games and videos
10. Provide clear access to teacher, student, parent portals

The St.Patrick's College library website:

This website is visually appealing, it's target audience is adolescent males and staff at St.Patrick's College in Ballarat and the photo assists in informing the user of this by showing the school emblem, the consistency in font and colour scheme adds to the visual appeal. The website is also organised and segmented efficiently with a clear tab bar across the top and some quick links on the home page. The site has a search function for both the site and google which is a great addition but is only available on the home page. There is no feedback function nor is there an ask a librarian function which means this webpage is greatly lacking in user participation and interactivity; key features of a Web 2.0 library website design. There does seem to be simple paths to find information meaning not too many 'clicks'. There is some audio features in tutorials and book trailers, but this is not enough, some lib guides or podcasts, tutorials or recordings need to be provided. The main user areas do stand out, the site is clear and efficiently organised. The site is missing interactivity through video or games, however it does have clear areas for students and staff portals. If parents are going to access the site there needs to be accommodation for them also.

Overall the site is clear, modern and usability is high. It does lack in interactivity and Web 2.0 elements such as audio and video need to be included. The site is still in beta mode and the URL will change as the current URL is not appropriate to the name of the school and does not point towards the site being for a library, thus the online profile is not sufficient.

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