This coming fall semester marks not only the introduction of a new school year, but also the debut of a new website for the Montana State University Library. You may have already noticed a few changes, so let’s take a quick walk-through of our remodeled appearance along with a brief description of how we got here.
In redesigning and restructuring the library website, we have aimed to create a more streamlined experience that offers greater guidance and instruction for the library’s resources and services. We started this process by engaging in extensive discussion about core actions of an academic research library website. Through these discussions three essential and harmonizing functions emerged to represent the library’s mission: Find, Request, and Interact. In this conceptual model, the library website serves a three-fold user-centered purpose: finding items, requesting items, and interacting with the library and the library staff. From a design perspective, this process of refinement has allowed us more room on our homepage to describe each of these three main points of entry. You will notice large banners that prominently indicate the name of each category, along with descriptive text beneath. In a similar fashion, we have also redesigned the pages immediately beneath our three main categories in a way that provides us with more room to describe the resources and services of Find, Request, and Interact. This design and structure enables us to serve both long-time users of the website as well as those who might be less familiar with our library and with our website.
Our approach in redesigning these pages of the library website involved the close study of information science and library science literature, web analytics, user testing, internal library feedback, and general web trends. If you are interested in providing feedback, please leave a comment on our feedback page, and if you would like further information about our new changes, please contact Scott Young, Digital Initiatives Librarian.