Seven Deadly Sins of Web Sites #il2013

Casey Schacher and Paige Mano, U. of Wisconsin

website: http://tinyurl.com/librarysins

powerpoint: http://tinyurl.com/librarysinspp

Too many links
Broken links
Old-fashioned, Geocities look, animated gifs

75% of incoming college students don’t know how to find research articles

100% of the library web sites they looked at had major usability issues.

Studied libraries’ web sites using guidelines from Usability.gov. Chose 24 most important guidelines.

Seven deadly sins:

1. Section 508 requires that web sites be accessible to people with disabilities. WAVE is a tool for checking accessibility. Check home page and most important pages.

2. Avoid unexplained library jargon that typical users don’t understand.

3. Ensure that common itesm are formatted consistently.

4. Elements such as colors, fonts, and content location should be consistent across pages.

5. Organize information at each level of the web site site so it shows a clear and logical structure.

6. The page layout should help users find and use the most important information. Most important stuff on top. Headers are important.

7. Avoid cluttered look. Avoid the “junk drawer” effect, where a hodgepodge of links are thrown togerher. Pretty graphics don’t negate overabundance of text.

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