Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
This is a teach‐yourself book that is specially written for librarians/web site designers. Many libraries now have a web site, and this has to be managed and maintained for library users, so that they can gain access conveniently. In addition, they expect to find the information and services they need quickly, and in a way that is understandable to them.
The authors have developed a methodology that can be used by a team or individual to provide a site for an academic, special or public library. The process combines the software development model with the librarian's mental model to create a way systematically to redesign a web site.
The book takes readers through the basics of usability and user‐centred design, plus the principles to be applied. It also introduces the new terminology for the library‐specific model. The main theme is about redesigning, and Chapter 3 provides an overview of how this can be accomplished by working through the steps of the process chart. This covers three phases – analysis, redesign and evaluation. It also describes the type of information to collect and how it should be organized.
The analysis phase is a step‐by‐step guide spanning Chapters 4‐7, through what the authors say is a proven method of user‐centred design used successfully in the redesign of library web sites. One of the steps helps in determining patrons, and then focuses on which groups to target, understanding what they do and creating a chart that shows what patrons will do when they visit the library.
In the redesign phase one needs to decide what to do with the initial site and how to go about fixing or creating a new web site; this is contained in Chapters 8‐9. The evaluation phase is about determining whether one has achieved the web site goals, and there is a series of tests to work through. If you already have a web site, or are thinking of designing one from scratch, this is a useful guide to help you to plan your design.