Services Redesign & Content Overhaul

Not too long ago, I posted about the revised IA of the Services section of the website. Staff consultations followed particularly to apprise them of recommended changes and to take the opportunity to revise the content. I created mockups, which I got feedback on. Finally, the page went live.

Consultation is Key

Based on the revised IA, I began an extensive consultation process with all the teams involved. While the methods differed, the most common process was by meeting with the librarian in charge, who would discuss the changes with the team and then assign a technician to help with the content revision. At other times, I just asked the librarian if they would have a problem with someone else revising the page.

I focused on the fact that the recommended changes were based on exercises with both staff and students. While the content could stay more or less the same, it was also a good opportunity for the team to make revisions. (Some pages hadn’t been revised in 10 years.)

For the most part, the major changes were discussed with the librarians and the assigned technician took care of the detailed content revision. I also did all the revisions for the technology area, since that’s under our team’s purview. Librarians that didn’t have a technician to help, I assigned the pages to the technician who does web editing support or the co-op student (who also helped with pages that have no owners).

The Old Services

The Services section was comprised of 125 pages, and the landing page looked like this:

Old Services Landing Page
Old Services Landing Page

Pretty awful, isn’t it? The old IA was a bit of a mess as well, and a lot of pages had the same information or just a single paragraph. The organization seems to have come about via the “we should make a page about this, and put it here”, meaning there doesn’t seem to have been a strict management of content. Not sure duplication of content was reviewed in any way either.

From the card sort, it’s obvious that some of the pages are definitely not where users might typically look for them. Here’s the list of pages in the old IA:

Services
    Audio-Visual Resources & Services
        Searching for Audio-Visual Material
        Bookings
        Borrowing Audio Visual Material
        AV Copyright
        DVD Player Lending
        Digitized AV Resources
        Equipment
        Screening Facility
        Search Other AV Collections
        Other Audio Visual Resources
    Borrow from Another Library
        Search Other Libraries
        NRC-CISTI Discover
        Borrow in Person from Other Libraries
        RACER (Interlibrary Loan)
            Using RACER
            RACER FAQ
            Tips for Faster Interlibrary Loans
        Policies
            Ryerson’s Lending Policies for External Institutions
        Article Not Available @ Ryerson
        Request this Title via Interlibrary Loan
    Borrower Services
        Circulation Records Privacy
        Courtesy Notices
        Direct Borrowing
        Extended Loans
        Fines & Penalties
        Holds
        Library Cards
            Alumni & Retirees
            Application Forms
            Distance Education Library Cards
            Faculty & Staff Library Cards
            George Brown Library Cards
            Nursing Library Cards
            Others
            Student Library Cards
        Loan Periods
        Lost Library Materials
        Maximum Items Borrowed
        Recalling Library Materials
        Renewing Materials
        Returning Library Material
        Self Services
        Special Loans
    Course Readings (One-stop Service) - no changes to subpages
    Facilities & Technology
        Access from Home
        Change Machines
        Computer Labs
        Lost and Found
        Photocopying
        Printing
        Study Space
        Telephones
        Washrooms
        Wireless Access (wifi)
    Instructional Services
    Laptop Loan Program
        Laptop Loan FAQ
    Ronald D. Besse Information & Learning Commons
        About the Commons/FAQ
            Besse Commons Hours
            Codes of Conduct
            Floorplan
            Mission
            Photo Gallery
            Ronald D. Besse
            Software
            Vision
        Geospatial, Map and Data Centre
        Instructional Services
        Learning Commons Lab (ILC)
        Research Help Services
        Technology Support
        Writing Centre
    Services for Distance Education Students
    Services for Faculty
        Audio Visual Services
        Direct Borrowing
        Electronic Resources
        Faculty Borrowing
        Library Cards
        Ordering
        Orientation Classes
        Reference Services
        Targeting Journals for Publication
            Instructions for Authors
            Journal Impact Factors
            Periodical Directories
            Periodical Title Abbreviations
            Recent Publications
            Refereed Journals
    Services for Graduate Students
        Borrowing & Renewing
        Computers & Study Space
        Direct Borrowing
        Graduate Workshops
        Reference Services - Graduates
        Thesis Submission
    Services for Persons with Disabilities - no changes to subpages

Content Revision & The Authoritative Copy

Other than merging a bunch of pages and getting rid of redundant ones, I consolidated a lot of information where we needed one “authoritative” copy: hours, policies, and fines. It is particularly important that we do not have conflicting information for circulation staff, because they are the ones that deal with fines, and lost and damaged items. Obviously, this also prevents confusion and possible frustration on the part of our users. A short guideline now exists on our intranet in regards to this issue.

We also moved our existing FAQ pages to LibAnswers, our FAQ database.

A couple of the ‘Services for…’ pages don’t really belong to anyone and they suffered from some of the same problems as the old Services page. I got our co-op student to look them over and suggest changes. Here’s what we came up with for the Graduates page:

We decided to take out redundant links, and links that were not of special interest. Then, obviously, we decided to categorize them a little so it was easier to read.

Mockups

As per usual, I created a number of mockups for the web committee to review. In an attempt to make it look a little more consistent with Research Help, I used the coloured boxes motif and played around with different ways of organizing the pages.

People were actually very against the boxes, and I agreed that it seemed like trying to force the look on Services. Based on the feedback on which they did prefer, I created clean black and white versions of two of the original mockups.

The group preferred mockup #1 with the icons on the right hand side. After a couple of more changes based on the committee’s feedback, I posted it in the staff room and sent it out by email as well. Sadly, I didn’t get any feedback though I suppose that’s not necessarily bad.

Services Revised

After all the consultations and content revisions, we pared Services to 90 pages (vs. 125). This is the final version of the IA:

Services
    Audio-Visual Resources & Services
        Searching for Audio-Visual Material
        Booking AV Material
        Borrowing AV Material
        Digitized AV Resources
        Other AV Resources
    Borrower Services
        Fines & Penalties
        Holds and Recalling Materials
        Library Cards
            Alumni & Retirees
            Application Forms
            Distance Education Library Cards
            Faculty & Staff Library Cards
            George Brown Library Cards
            Nursing Library Cards
            Others
            Student Library Cards
        Loan Periods
        Lost Library Materials
        Returning Library Material
        Self Services
    Borrow from Another Library
        Direct Borrowing
        Search Other Libraries
        RACER (Interlibrary Loan)
            Using RACER
            Tips for Faster Interlibrary Loans
        Request this Title via Interlibrary Loan
    Course Readings (One-stop Service)- no changes to subpages
    Facilities & Spaces
        Computer Labs
            Software
        Lost and Found
        Ronald D. Besse Information & Learning Commons
            About the Commons
                Codes of Conduct
                Mission & Vision
                Photo Gallery
                Ronald D. Besse
            Geospatial, Map and Data Centre
            Learning Commons Lab (ILC)
            Writing Centre
        Study Space
        Telephones
        Washrooms
        Viewing AV
    Instructional Services
    Research Help Services
    Technology & Tools
        Access from Home
        Change Machines
        DVD Player Loan
        Laptop Loan Program
        Photocopying
        Printing
        RefWorks
        Technology Assistance
        Wireless Access (WiFi)
    Services for Distance Education Students
    Services for Faculty
        Scholarly Communication
            Journal Impact Factors
            Open Access Author Fund
            Refereed Journals
    Services for Graduate Students
        Graduate Workshops
    Services for Persons with Disabilities - no changes to subpages

The ILL pages haven’t actually been revised yet as they were busy with their projects, but that should happen in the next little while. The page count and the new IA are based on an already revised section of ILL, so that may differ from what actually happens in the future.

I also ended up writing a fairly long email to list all the changes as requested that I sent out to all staff.

The final version turned out fairly well I think.

New Services Page
New Services Page

Published by

Cynthia

A librarian learning the ways of technology, accessibility, metadata, and people

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