How does it look?

John Maxymuk (Paul Robeson Library, Rutgers University, Camden, New Jersey, USA)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Publication date: 1 June 2006



The purpose of this paper is to remind readers that library online catalogs should be simple, easy to use, and graphically appealing if they are to be successful.


The paper lists and examines several issues relevant to web page design and online user behavior.


The paper finds that many online catalogs are still not easy to use, even for librarians. Layout and design can still be confusing and frustrating, even to those with experience in using online catalogs regularly.


Web site design is impossible to ignore, and can be the difference between a successful online catalog and one that is not. Librarians need to remember that users familiar to online searching expect their sessions to be simple, quick, and relevant. Bells and whistles that clutter up the screen and obscure its use should be avoided.



Maxymuk, J. (2006), "How does it look?", The Bottom Line, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 87-89.

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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