Library Web site receives a new look

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    The library’s revamped Web site reflects the simplicity that people in today’s Google world have become accustomed to, a library official said.

    Tracy Hull, associate dean of the Mary Couts Burnett Library, said a main feature of the new Web site is organization, which is now cleaner and features increased accuracy and little repetitiveness. The site design includes three main tabs designed for different types of users from beginner to expert.

    Hull said students may notice some features that look new; however, most features were on the old Web site but have been redesigned for easier use.

    “The chat room feature has been in place for about a year,” Hull said. “The difference is now it is (at) a much more obvious place, at the top right-hand side of every page.”

    Hull, who is also the co-chairwoman for the library’s Web site redesign committee, said the committee, which consists of Hull and eight others, was formed a year ago. The committee conducted usability studies in order to determine which items on the site troubled users most, Hull said. The studies showed that students were irritated by finding conflicting information in different areas of the site.

    Dana Thomsen, a senior nursing major, said she was familiar with the old Web site and used it for multiple research projects. She said the old site was difficult to navigate, especially when trying to figure out what database to use for a particular research topic.

    Molly Knox, an English graduate student, said the site now looks less cluttered.

    “The old Web site wasn’t as aesthetically pleasing as it is now,” Knox said.

    Hull began working for the university two and a half years ago with the idea to redo the cluttered site and make it more accessible for students. She said the old Web site had a lot of good information on it but was a little overwhelming.

    “One of our goals was to make navigating information easier, with not too many clicks,” Hull said.

    Even though the Web site launched this month, Hull said, the committee’s work is not done, and it plans on adding more to the “how-to” and online tutorials sections.
    “The online tutorials would be short and to-the-point instructional videos,” Hull said.

    Knox said she is still having trouble finding information on the search engine, which she said is making it difficult to locate articles.

    Hull said she plans on looking at student comments, and if there is a common complaint, the Web site committee will work to fix the problem.

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