Making you Think (in a Bad Way)

On Friday, I was getting ready to fly to Monterey, CA for Internet Librarian 2014, and needed to pay for something on my flight with American Airlines. The screenshot above is the credit card payment page on American Airline’s website.

It’s weird. Instead of running your name, address, etc left to right, they run everything up to down. So my name? There are three vertical boxes for first, middle initial, and last.

That’s pretty much like no other credit card page ever.

And it forced me to think about the functionality of the page. For example, I really, really wanted to type my middle initial in the Country box, and my last name in the City box. Then, since I’m used to typing left to right, when I reached the Street address box, I couldn’t enter my city next. I had to search for the City box … because 9 times out of 10, most of us generally type address, city, state, zipcode. Except, apparently, for American Airlines.

So instead of thinking about my purchase (paying $15 extra to board in group 1), I was having to think about where to type my middle initial and my city.

My point? Don’t ever force your website visitors to have to think about your website and your poorly-done forms. Keep website visitors focused and thinking about the things they really want to do (i.e., check out a book! borrow a movie! read your cool blog post! etc).

If your website visitors have to think about how the functionality of your website works … you have failed.

Internet Librarian 2011, Day 2: Designing for Optimal UX

Nate Hill, Web Librarian, San Jose Public Library

Chris Noll, Noll & Tam Architects

Slide on the screen:

Because of the Internet, access to:
Books and other documents have gone from Read to Read/Write
Photo and video output has gone from View to View/Edit
Music and other audio has gone from Listen to Listen/Remix

Nate is introducing the topic of libraries starting to support content creation, and the models behind that.

Chris:

Contra Costa has used vending machines in shopping malls, etc. Washington County is using reserve boxes.

Boston Chinatown Storefront Library – community driven library

Houston – small small branch…

DC – Kiosk branches…

Greenbridge Library – took a community center, and developed part of it into a library

Idea Stores in London. Mix up libraries, cafes, etc.

Morgan Hill Library – self checkout, check in, self help holds, etc – very self-driven

Nate:

talking about the Digital Public Library or America project and their beta sprint. Realized we will still need physical spaces to create digital content.

LibraryLab idea:

broken into modules like audio and video creation, scanning, collaboration, etc

Chris: talking about creating furniture for these creative types of spaces …

Give people access to tools. Some libraries check out tools or musical instruments. Why not video cameras, microphones, etc?

Why not have design tools – desktop publishing, CAD/CAM tools, 3D printers, etc? The library could support these things.

They want this project to happen … but need funding, etc.

New Presentation: Creating Community Experience Using Mostly Free Stuff and Staff

Here’s the Slideshare version of a presentation I did for Proquest at the ALA MidWinter 2011 meeting. It was a fun presentation to do – I was experimenting with creating recurring themes throughout the presentation, and working on my transitions.

I think it worked well. Enjoy!

Building the Digital Branch: An ALA TechSource Workshop with David Lee King

I’m teaching an ALA TechSource Workshop about building digital branches on August 3rd – and I hope you attend!

Here’s the blurb about the workshop:

“Every library needs a presence on the Web. Whether you work at a large academic library or a public library in a small town, you need to be able to provide service and content to your patrons beyond the walls of your building. In this workshop, David Lee King will take you through the process of building an effective, user-friendly library website that will exand and enhance your library’s presence in its community.

This event will take place on Tuesday, August 3rd at 2:30pm Eastern (1:30pm Central, 11:30am Pacific).

Whether you’re looking to launch your first website, redesign your site, or expand the site you have, this workshop will provide practical guidance for every step of the process.”

Interested? You can find out a bit more on this page, and you can sign up here!

Designing Digital Experiences for Library Websites

On Sunday, I had the privilege of presenting about digital experiences with John Blyberg, Bobbi Newman, and Toby Greenwalt. The room was packed, there were great questions afterwards … and I think it went well!

Here are the slides for my portion of the talk (and here’s a link to Toby’s too).