What: Portal to library resources
- Find local library info & catalog
- Access to article databases
- Ebook collections
- Search for literacy and citizenship classes, early childhood programs, etc.
Why: One-stop shopping for patrons
(no statewide discovery platform yet)
v1.0: 2008 - 2011/12ish
v1.1: 2011/12ish - 2016
Do you know your 14-digit library card number?
Lots to maintain
The mobile experience
New site launched September 14, 2016
- Responsive redesign
- Instant access to databases (for geolocated MA residents - introduced in 2009 version)
- Library card login still available to MA patrons visiting other states
- Easy (we hope!) access to local & statewide catalogs, plus ebook collections
- Zip code-based search for nearby programs & classes
Different scenarios for different users
- geolocated vs. not
- logged in with card vs. not
- selected a home library vs. skipped
- ebook access varies from library to library
Also: ComCat info page (books_and_ebooks/comcat) and "Hours and More"/home library detail page
- Font: Open Sans
- Color scheme & logo: Follows current MBLC branding guidelines
- Images: Kept to a minimum. Used to help with navigation, explanation, branding, etc.
Analytics (Sept. 2015 - Sept. 2016)
- Unique visits: 57,822
- Visit duration: 1 minute, 44 seconds / 4.39 pages
- Bounce rate: 10.27%
- Geography: 92% U.S., 72.46% Massachusetts, 10.56% Boston
Usability study goals
Improve user experience
Is it useful?
- Does the site help people find out what's available through Massachusetts libraries?
- Does it help them access library collections and online content?
- What's missing? What should we add next?
Is it usable?
- Does the terminology make sense?
- Is the experience similar to "the rest of the Web?"
- Where are the pain points in the handoffs between the portal and the sites it links to?
- How can we help orient new library users?
Is it desirable?
- Do people want to use this site? Why or why not?
- If they don't, what would change that?
- Would they prefer to get this info another way (via Google or their local library website, etc.)?
- Also: When do people want to use this vs. their library or network website? For what types of info? (certain things, like literacy, ESOL, etc. searches, are only available on the portal)
Study goals, continued
- Assess this site's relationship to the external resources it links to (catalogs, database collections, etc.). Can users navigate back and forth between the two? What's jarring or unexpected for them?
- Improve simplicity and predictability so users feel like they "get it" and are in control
- Improve accessibility
Study goals, continued
- Ensure bugs in content presentation are fixed across various device types, operating systems, and browsers
- Improve findability and SEO - metadata recommendations very much welcomed!
- Overall: Let us know if we're on the right track!
Potential test prompts
- Find out how to sign up for a library card
- Find your local library's website, operating hours, and directions
- Choose a home library & switch to a different one
- Search for classes and programs near you
- Find information about accessibility options in MA public libraries
Test prompts, continued
- Starting with the links on the portal...
- find a book or DVD in your local catalog
- find a book or DVD in the statewide Commonwealth Catalog
- find ebooks - either a specific title and/or titles on a specific topic
- find articles from The Boston Globe