WUT has finished our open card sort. An open card sort is used in the early phases of a redesign, with a closed card sort happening later in the process. The open card sort is a chance to see how our users would organize information in our website. Volunteers are given a number of cards, each with a link/term on it. They are then asked to sort the cards into groups that make sense to them, as well as piles for cards that don't make sense to them or are redundant terminology. Volunteers are also instructed to name the categories they have created. This helps us see how users expect to find information and what terms they prefer. A closed card sort is very similar in nature, but instead of naming categories, volunteers are instructed to put the cards into categories we have chosen. The closed card sort is useful in determining that the structure or information architecture of the new site makes sense and that we have chosen terminology that works for our users.
While the summary report is available on the WUT wiki, I thought I would share a few of the insights we found. The first obvious thing we found is that we have too many links on our website, with nearly 80 links on the homepage alone. The test also showed that there are far too many redundant terms on the website - terms appearing twice or more, often leading to different information or conversely, different terms leading to the same information. The participants used a variety of headings for their categories, but a few common ones did surface, such as About, Help, and Other Libraries. Terms that were either redundant or misunderstood included Summon, Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing, and Scholarly Communication.
It seems like ages ago now, but the Web Implementation Team (WIT) met at the end of January for a retreat where we could concentrate on the website without distraction and start getting our hands dirty in the new CMS (Terminal Four) by creating a very very very early idea of a new design for the website.
One of the very first things we did as a group was to determine what the primary purpose of the library website is - why do we have one, what do we want it to do? Here’s what the group came up with (this has also been shared with the Web Advisory Team for feedback).
The Memorial University Libraries website will:
Once the group had an idea of what we wanted the website to do, we started thinking about the goals for the redesign. Here’s what we came up with:
Now that we have an idea of what we want the website to do and where we’d like to see the website redesign go, we can start moving forward.
More info from the retreat is coming soon!