On Friday, February 12, the UX Team conducted a Mobile App Ideation session. Definition of ideation : the capacity for or the act of forming or entertaining ideas Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster. Web. 17 Feb. 2016. The purpose of the session was … Continue reading
The Library will be transitioning to LibGuides v2 this summer (hooray!). This post summarizes the important points that guide owners will need to make a smooth transition. Dates The migration will take place 6/17, but v2 guides will NOT be live at … Continue reading
The article, “Will Smart Robots Take Your Job?,” from Ping! Zine was referenced in a U.Va. Today Daily Report. I was immediately impressed by the fact that the proposed qualities that will “future proof” jobs are also the very qualities that are essential … Continue reading
“Well, if they can’t find it, users can just do a search, right?” I’ve heard this comment enough in meetings that it’s worth reviewing why a site search should not be the solution to bad information architecture. The Nielsen/Norman Group … Continue reading
Time.com published an interesting piece about what the author terms “The Attention Web.” I’d summarize The Attention Web as a new philosophy about how content producers and advertisers seek to engage audiences. Rather than measure users’ interest solely by what … Continue reading
I ran across this article that, to my utter surprise, announced that the plain old period (that seemingly innocent concluder of sentences), is now perceived as surly in text communications:
The period was always the humblest of punctuation marks. Recently, however, it’s started getting angry. I’ve noticed it in my text messages and online chats, where people use the period not simply to conclude a sentence, but to announce “I am not happy about the sentence I just concluded.”…
“In the world of texting and IMing … the default is to end just by stopping, with no punctuation mark at all,” Liberman wrote me. “In that situation, choosing to add a period also adds meaning because the reader(s) need to figure out why you did it. And what they infer, plausibly enough, is something like ‘This is final, this is the end of the discussion or at least the end of what I have to contribute to it.’”
As communication channels change, so too do the content of our communications. Perhaps we need to think about a style guide for texting/IM in the same way we do writing for the web, as apparently something as mundane as a period could have a profound effect on how users interpret their mobile and online service experiences.
I’m always thinking about how to engage users through personal connections with otherwise opaque services.
This Search Engine Journal article has a similar focus with respect to About Us pages: “25 Creative and Engaging About Us Pages“.
According to the piece there are some rules of thumb about what makes good About Us pages:
For starters, it should be informative. It doesn’t always have to tell the whole story, but it should at least provide people with an idea of who and what you are. Besides that, it should contain social proof, testimonials, and some personal information that viewers can relate to such as education, family, etc.
The article continues with some examples of stellar About Us pages and why they are successful.
One in particular that stood out to me as being somewhat analogous to libraries is National Geographic. Like our library, it has a long history, is an organizational vs. personal site, and has a great depth of information to convey about what it does due to its multifaceted activities.
The data fan in me also liked this graphic designer’s About page because he uses some unexpected visuals (a humorous bar chart) to communicate his skills. It made me wonder how we could visually portray ourselves with the user and collections data we’ve amassed.
I point out this article to encourage some thinking about ‘humanizing’ our web presence. As brought out in my recent user interviews, there is a strong desire to connect with people in addition to materials. Hopefully these examples will generate some ideas and tactics you could use for your own pages that would help users connect with the content in a more personal way.
As part of a new feature, I’d like to highlight Library staff UX successes as examples of user experience best practices we can emulate. A recent example was announced last week with the availability of a new Medieval Studies LibGuide, … Continue reading
I just posted some useful web resources that may help you develop more effective online content. Check out the “Writing for the Web” section: http://ux.library.virginia.edu/web-development-resources/ I’d like to highlight one recent Nielsen Norman Group article in particular called, “Website Reading: … Continue reading