Minutes of March 30, 2012 Meeting

Purger, Koruth (Recorder), Ling, McDonald, Deodato, Mullen,J. Gardner, Au, Just, Fetzer, Sterback, Boyle, Mills


  1. Introductory words, welcome Melissa Just (Purger)
  2. Usability study report (Deodato)
  3. Front page refresh (Koruth/Purger)
  4. Whom to Call functional enhancements (Ling)
  5. Mobile updates (Ling)
  6. Webmaster's report (McDonald)
  7. Miscellaneous

1. a. Welcome Melissa Just to the web board!

b. The board acknowledges the resignation of Jacek Gwizdka, Martin Kesselman and Gene Springs. The search begins for two representatives who will bring university wide resources and relevant experience to the web board. Board co-chairs will nominate new members and co-sponsors will request their participation.

2. Usability report


Joseph Deodato discussed the preliminary usability findings. The goal of the search team was to create an integrated search interface. Usability testing was conducted to evaluate each component of the tabbed interface: 1) the labels, 2) the tabs , 3) the targets within each tab, 4) the search options for each target, and 5) the supporting help content. Two versions of the prototype were tested: 1) a "full-featured" version containing multiple targets in each tab and multiple search options per target and 2) a "simplified" version containing one target and one search option per tab. Users for the study were a random sample of 10 undergraduates. They were asked to complete certain search tasks in the presence of a tester and moderator, and verbalize their thought process while working.

Overall, users had a positive experience. Most students were successful in completing their tasks. Areas of doubt and confusion are indicative of a need to rethink aspects of the design of the search tabs. The board discussed how the results of the usability testing could be incorporated into ongoing design efforts.

Comments: Mary Ann Koruth asked for a brief description of tasks. The answer was that user testing involved very typical tasks, such as 'find a book on global warming', 'find a database that will help you write a paper on renaissance painting.' Tibor Purger enquired if any of the users had bibliographic instruction; the answer was that this information was not recorded. Yuhwei Ling asked if there had been an expectation of difference in performance on the test had the pool of users included graduate students and/or faculty. The answer was that there would have been a difference in the manner in which advanced users addressed their tasks; they would have found it easier to complete tasks. The undergraduate sampling though is representative of the largest section of the target audience.

Action Item: After the spring semester has ended, beta implantation of search tabs will be incorporated into the library website and tested, so that further design changes can be made before it is integrated into the final website redesign. The search team will return with a timeline for redesigned search tabs (beta version).

3. Home Page Refresh


Mary Ann Koruth and Tibor Purger described the rationale behind the home page 'refresh'.
This interim 'refresh' of the existing libraries home page is being undertaken with the goal of bringing a fresher, and cleaner look and feel to the homepage, but without disturbing existing workflow and navigation. The need for this kind of 'refresh' is strongly felt within the RUL community. Equally important is the need to make the change as seamless as possible, since users should not have to get used to a design, only to have it replaced with a final redesigned website.

Comments: The board discussed the presentation and provided these comments. Link colors and the blue-gray background are to be reworked, the boldness of news headlines to be reduced. It was suggested that navigation be differentiated from content by using color. It was hoped that images be incorporated into the page, perhaps into the news headlines, to take away from the home page's text-heavy appearance. The board will review the refresh at the next meeting, and changes implemented at the end of the spring semester. I t was suggested that once the beta search tabs are live, users should be able to comment on them.

Action Item: Comments will be taken into consideration for a revised 'refresh' to be created and presented when the web board re-convenes. The 'refresh' will only go live after the end of the spring semester. The beta implementation of the search tabs will be incorporated into the 'refresh'.

4. Whom to Call functional enhancements

Yuhwei Ling announced that work will begin on the next phase of the who's who implementation with searchable/browse info on whom to call for libraries related activities. Initial discussions include use of tags to denote functions and responsibilities, faceted search/browse features. Ron Jantz and Ryan Womak will be invited to provide input into the effort to formulate requirements for this initiative.

5. Mobile Update

Yuhwei Ling discussed the latest release of the mobile site, with two new features, PC Availability & Mobile databases, and new icons. The new version of the Rutgers mobile site was released on 3/21. It is part of the new Rutgers app which was released officially on 3/15 in the iTunes market. PC availability runs off the same script as the full website does. Mobile catalog services are being researched by R.Warwick, to explore the possibility of incorporating a MyAccount type of service.

Comments: Mary Fetzer suggested re-ordering links on the mobile site, so that mobile databases follows Search Catalog and Hours and Directions is last. It was determined that Google analytics/stats will be reviewed so that most frequently used links appear highest on list. This is the rationale for the current ordering of links on the mobile site. Mary Fetzer also asked if the link should be called 'Find Articles' or 'Mobile Databases'. The board determined that consistency between the full site and mobile site should drive that decision. Jeanne Boyle asked that the main library icon on the Rutgers app be replaced with a better one. This suggestion was accepted. It was noted that Mary Ann Koruth is working on a flyer to promote the Libraries mobile site.

6. CMS Architecture

Sam McDonald announced that a routine Drupal upgrade is underway to maintain security and features.

7. Miscellaneous

i. EBSCO Outage: Tibor Purger asked for suggestions as to how to communicate to users when there is a service outage from outside vendors. IIS will work on a short policy with regard to how and when to publish such messages. One option is provide a link on the website that addresses service messages, where users can go look for notifications of this sort. Koruth, McDonald and Deodato will return with options for this solution.

ii. Chad Mills asked where we are now with the timeline for the overall RUL website design: Tibor Purger said that while information architecture and search design goes on, visual designers will continue their work on the redesign once reimbursement for work already performed is settled. The home page 'refresh' discussed above partly addresses this issue.

iii. IIS Web Team/webmaster update: Sam McDonald notified the board that Wilson databases merged with EBSCO and CSA database will be migrating to the new Proquest interface.

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/web_board/minutes/web_board_12_03_30.shtml
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