Friday, December 17, 2010

Post-Launch Program

With the launch of 33 new websites and BiblioCommons instances this week, many of you are likely wondering what we could possibly still have to do regarding your library’s website. In a word – plenty!

Although the sites have gone live, it will always be an ongoing process to refine them. At this moment, we are working hard to set up Google Analytics for every website and BiblioCommons instance to gather data about online visits. During the month of January, I am planning to do hands-on user testing to determine how to make your sites even more user friendly. Furthermore, we are hoping that user comments from BiblioCommons will provide more insight into what we can do better.

From this information, we are hoping to make small, iterative changes over time. Many of the most heavily used website today, like Facebook and Twitter, make tiny changes all the time. BiblioCommons does this as well. In the middle of our orientation sessions in November, they made a major change from “My Collection” to “My Shelves.” You will likely notice in the next little while that BiblioCommons will be changing “My Lists” to “My Shared Guides.”

The other side of this plan is that while training many of you to use the software to edit your own websites, it will be additionally helpful to you to keep the structure of the original website. This way, when I conduct user testing and gather results, I can more easily apply them to your website to improve it. Some libraries will definitely have specific needs that will require them to make more pages, but the more similar the websites are, the better I can assist all you.

In the meantime, I hope you are all enjoying your new websites and BiblioCommons. I think we are all looking forward to a better, more effective online library experience in the New Year.

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