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South Concourse

“Like a Robot”: Web design, usability, and instruction in Academic Libraries

Monday, Oct 22 11:45 - 12:45

Presented by Terezita Overduin

What does usability and good web design mean for University Library websites? Academic librarians teach students how to use the library’s resources; often, every freshman research class is shown the library’s website and given step-by-step instructions on how to use it. But what happens to users when we change the website? Our university library conducted a major redesign, and received some thought-provoking feedback during usability testing. “I would always do the same thing to find articles, like a robot. But now the link I always use is gone!” As clean, organized, and attractive as the new site was, it disoriented many experienced users. This talk will share strategies on how to simultaneously preserve as much consistency as possible for our experienced users while also forging ahead with new designs, directions, and products. We will present findings from our usability testing and recommendations for how libraries can design websites that are usable for both the newcomer and the battle-hardened fifth year.


Terezita Overduin

Senior Assistant Librarian

Terezita Overduin is the Outreach and Public Programming Librarian at the Walter W. Stiern Library at California State University, Bakersfield. She has worked in academic and public libraries throughout southern California and has created websites, blogs, and social media channels for several libraries and community organizations.