Purposeful Content Management

results

  • Restructured Severn School Library’s web pages for improved UX leveraging the existing CMS and design elements
  • Increased patron use of online library resources

Good UX Starts with Intentional IA

As Associate Librarian for Severn School, I was the designated content manager for the Zimmerman Library website. When I joined the team, their site had a lot of outdated information which made it difficult for patrons to find exactly what they were looking for. The library simply wasn’t providing the best online experience possible for their patrons.

I recommended that we apply basic information architecture (IA) principles to reorganize the content and improve usability for students and faculty. I started the IA process by working with the Head and Assistant Librarians to identify their goals:

  • Provide clear, direct access to library online resources
  • Communicate the library’s mission and goals as an institution within the larger school
  • Provide basic library contact information

I then sifted through the content and aligned each piece with their goals. Anything that did not tie in, I replaced with more relevant information. In addition to outdated content and broken links, the site was visually difficult to read, with a hodge-podge of multi-colored blocks of information and very little white space. There was too much content on too few pages without any obvious hierarchy. Focusing on the identified goals I added more pages to the site, each with a clear purpose, and included internal links to help make natural connections explicit.

Screenshot of the Zimmerman Library homepage
Creating additional pages to house the extensive library resources allowed for a cleaner design and easier-to-find information.