Moline Public Library
Tree testing (Treejack)
First Click Testing (Chalkmark)
Late March/Early April 2022, 5 weeks
IA Analysis and redesign
Overview: The Moline Public Library in Moline, IL is a space that values education, growth, and community. For this project, the Moline Public Library website will be re-examined and redesigned to improve overall usability. Stakeholders worry that information is hard to find on the current website, and they want a fresh start.
Project Goal: Make website information easier to find for users and give the library site a redesign.
In order to discover how to best solve the problem for the Moline Public Library, research was first gathered about library users.
Research conducted by Pew Research shows that library users who visit their local library website are most likely to be women, parents of minors, individuals who have college educations, individuals under the age of 50 and persons living in households earning $75,000 or more.
While most library visitors borrow print books, there is also a rising awareness of digital content that individuals can borrow online, for example, e-books or audiobooks.
However, focus group members who participated in this study conducted by the Pew Research Center, mentioned they felt that their library websites were a bit of a hassle to navigate for more complex tasks (such as finding and reserving books online). They also mentioned that the interfaces for library websites seemed to be outdated but were useful for finding basic information such as hours, location, etc.
Three different user personas were created based on the library user findings.
After looking at what tasks these three users would likely be participating in, a task priority table was created in order to separate high priority tasks from lower priority tasks. This will help determine what should be prioritized during the site restructure.
Basic Information (Hours, location, etc.)
Search Library Catalog
Reserve (physical book, e-book, audiobook, DVD, CD, etc.)
Library Card Sign Up
Online Database Usage
Help Desk (Ask a Librarian)
View New Releases
Meeting Room Reservations
Website Analysis & Content Inventory
Currently, the Moline Library site navigation is broken down into Task Schemes (How Do I, Find It, Borrowing, and Donate) which are specific to helping users complete a certain task; as well as Topic Schemes (About Us, Services, and Events) which is based more on the subject matter.
Information on the Moline Library site is presently accessed using a hierarchical structure. Meaning there is a top/down approach to the website information. For example, hovering over the About Us label shows various sub-labels (Library Board, History of the Library, etc.) that align within that category.
While browsing the website it also became apparent that adding a utility navigation above the global navigation would make some areas of the site a bit more prominent and easier to find.
Next, I conducted a content inventory. Each page of the site was examined, and it was noted if the information was worth keeping, repurposing, or removing. The full content inventory can be viewed here.
After looking at the current website, personas, and user tasks, I determined that the best way to organize the information on the Moline Public Library website would be by using a combination scheme. A mix of subject/topic, as well as audience, made the most sense to me for the reworked website.
Audience makes sense here because information can really be catered to various age groups. However, there is also more generalized content on the website that doesn’t necessarily fit within the audience scope. For example, services like accessing the online catalog and looking at library events are topics that everyone may want to access. Therefore, it makes sense here to split these into a topical scheme. Combining both schemes will ensure everyone has easy access to what they need within the website.
As far as the navigation structure for the site, the revised site will follow the hierarchical model. Meaning that the structure will have main elements and sub-categories. This makes the most sense given the context of the site.
Sitemap & Testing
After conducting research based on library users as well as the state of the current Moline Public Library website, I created a first draft of my sitemap. The draft sitemap was then input into Treejack to conduct tests with four different users. The participants were asked to complete 8 tasks to test the proposed sitemap. The results of that study can be viewed in more detail here.
All participants were able to successfully navigate to register for a library card
All participants were able to find resources by age groups
All participants successfully navigated to meeting room reservations
All participants had direct success finding the online catalog
All participants were able to locate where they needed to go to pay a fine
WHAT NEEDED IMPROVEMENT
3 out of 4 of the participants were able to successfully find library news. However, 1 participant had to dig through a few areas first, and one other participant was unsuccessful.
Tech Help Desk and Ask a Librarian seemed to confuse all the participants. 3 out of 4 of the participants were able to correctly find this area of the site indirectly, while 1 participant was unsuccessful.
3 out of 4 participants were able to successfully locate numbers and hours and 1 participant did not.
Based on these findings, I updated the library news section to be a bit more prominent on the home page. I removed the tech help desk area and just kept ask a librarian. The numbers and hours for the library were added to the global header as well. This is the final iteration of the site map.
Wireframes & Testing
Three wireframes were created using a pen and paper for this project. I showed these wireframes to my peers and made iterations based on feedback. The wireframes were then input into Chalkmark for user testing to determine if the site was user-friendly. Five participants completed 9 tasks to establish if prioritized tasks were easy to complete. Medium fidelity wireframes were created for this phase to show three separate pages. More in-depth results from the testing can be found here. Digital wireframes were created based on the test results.
Prototype - This project ended with wireframes due to time constraints. The next step I would like to take would be to create a lo-fi prototype with iterations I made to the wireframes. This will tell me if the iterations I made worked for users.
Visual Design - Creating a new look for the Moline Public Library website would be done after low fidelity prototyping and testing. Ideally, I would create high-fidelity prototypes to review with stakeholders and users.