Purpose of the Library Web Presence
To support education and meet the research needs of our users regardless of location or device.
Some use the library in-person, but many others use it remotely. Some do both. Whether they’re based at Mission Bay, Parnassus, or elsewhere, all users should be offered an equally good experience and ease of access to the materials or services they need.
These principles ensure that the Library website provides an optimal user experience. All decisions and improvements will be guided by our purpose and these principles.
- Put users first – Understand our users’ needs thoroughly, then provide the best possible user experience by focusing on those needs. Acknowledge that we are different from our users.
- Be credible and trustworthy – Verify information, quickly remove outdated or inaccurate content, and present relevant content at the point of need. Maintain accountability for content ownership.
- Keep it simple and clear – Make things intuitive. Eliminate superfluous information and other distractions to allow users to complete tasks easily. Use concise, consistent language. Simplify.
- Provide clear hierarchy and visual cues – Give the most crucial elements the greatest prominence. Optimize pages to support the most frequent or important tasks. Group related content together and provide sign posts or cues for wayfinding.
- Avoid library jargon – Use language that is natural and clear to our users. Don’t force users to decipher obscure library terminology (e.g., vendor or system names.)
- Design for a diverse audience using a wide range of devices – Ensure that content is readable by as large an audience as possible on as many devices as possible. Adhere to section 508 and WCAG accessibility guidelines. Embrace responsive design and use progressive enhancement.
- Innovate and evolve – Continually explore new ways to meet users’ current needs and anticipate future needs. Take risks and make small changes often. Then assess the outcomes.
Principles inspired by those used at Duke University Libraries
Primary Audiences served by the Library
- Teaching faculty
- usually also involved in clinical research or practice or basic science research
- Students in degree programs
- professional students in medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and dentistry
- graduate students in basic science
- graduate students in social sciences, nursing, and history
- Researchers in basic science or clinical medicine
- PhD students
- lab managers/research staff