With the closing of another academic year, it is ideal for us to prepare for the next academic year. In this spirit, we would like to focus your attention on one of the important resources that serve as instructional aids, and helpful reference points for our colleagues - our research guides. Over time, we have amassed a multitude of guides. It is time that we begin to take stock of these resources and determine how these guides have served us and how they can serve us better in the future. As we face staffing shortages and changes to our duties and responsibilities, it is necessary that we collectively engage in an effort to streamline our research guides and improve our overall design choices to enhance the user experience.
Annie, Marisol, and Mary-Michelle are collaborating on this project. The goals are two-fold, we’re going to move our guides to the more user-friendly side-navigation format (see details below), and as you will have to adjust your guides with the new formatting, we’ll be taking the opportunity to weed the guides for optimal user experience.
The move to side navigation is more mobile and accessibility friendly. It will allow our users to better utilize find functions in navigating guide materials. Also, most users scan web pages in an “F” shape (emphasis on the top of the page, from left to right, and less emphasis on the bottom of the page), so having pages indexed on the left is more intuitive. Side navigation will also allow for options for sub-pages to be easily viewed on the left side and below the main page, which will encourage navigation.
Reduction & Consolidation:
Moving from one navigation style to the other will necessitate at least minor adjustments on all of your guides, so this is a prime opportunity to consider winnowing down our total number of guides. Ideally, we’d like to reduce the number of guides to make the browsing experience easier for our users and co-op chat colleagues. We will be providing best practices in a later email for how to determine if a guide should be maintained or combined with another guide. Another goal is to examine existing guides that we plan to retain and make them so that they don’t require as much maintenance time. We will be consulting with the group for an agreed-upon checklist for keeping or deleting guides, boxes, etc.
We understand that this project represents a major investment of time and energy, and will take place over a period of months. Our current projected timeline is below, and we’ll communicate with you if major adjustments are to be made:
Please keep an eye out for future emails with exact due dates, timelines, and other important information.
Mary-Michelle, Annie, Marisol
We have new templates!
Consolidation or Deletion Worksheet
In addition to making our guides more user-friendly and up-to-date, the move to SideNav was to make sure everyone was working in their guides with an eye towards reducing (either by consolidation or weeding) as well as updating. As with any conversations around weeding, we want to make sure we're striking a good balance between collecting the quantitative and qualitative reasons to keep or remove a guide from public view. Before we recommend a final version of this worksheet, please provide any feedback you'd like us to consider by Friday 8/26.
Training Labs and Help
We started the summer with ambitions toward having drop-in lab times, but things got busy and we're worried that we may not have time for that this summer. However, please reach out with any questions and we'll be happy to help you!
Project overview presentation
The exact date pending. Please join us for for an overview of the new side-navigation template, we'll record it for people who can't attend.
Join us for a drop-in/open lab if you have questions throughout the summer. If these times don't work for you, please contact Annie, Marisol, or Mary-Michelle directly.
Instruction starts September 18th all Subject Guides should be using Side Navigation before instruction starts.
Fall Quarter ends December 9th please have all published guides using Side Navigation by the end of December.
Consolidation & Reduction of LibGuides
Start cleaning up boxes, unpublished guides, and taking stock - Summer 2022
Consolidate, reduce the number of guides, and unpublish guides you're unsure of by the end of Fall 2022