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Create a User-Friendly Library Website: Getting Started

Create a User-friendly Library Website Using LibGuides CMS

Welcome to this guide created to support the New England Association of Independent School Librarians (NEAISL) Breakout Session presented at the 2017 Annual Conference, held at Cheshire School on April 24, 2017. Following the Understanding by Design model, you will walk through the steps to identify common information needs of your users and the key elements on your library site needed to create a user-friendly experience for your community. 

Ebsco Survey

Infographic used with permission from EBSCO

Create a User-Friendly Library Website



1. Understand Your User     

How well do you know the research habits of your students? The first step in creating a user-friendly website is knowing where your students go for their information and why. 


2. Form Follows Function 

These three words will help you to distinguish between trying to create a visually attractive website, and creating a library website with a purpose. What are the information needs of your students? An elementary or middle school website will look vastly different from a secondary school website based on your individual school. 


3-4. From Wireframe to Website 

Once you have defined the information needs of your users and the tasks they are coming to your site to perform, create a simple wireframe to help visualize the graphical design of your site. Skip this step at your own peril. It's much easier to find navigation and content issues at this stage and correct them. 



5. Test Early - Test Often 

The only way you will know if you hit the mark with your website is to conduct a usability test with your users. It takes a surprisingly small pool of users to find your website's areas of weakness. It's also important to remember, usability testing isn't a "one and you're done" thing. You must "test early - test often" to find issues and improve the UX (user-experience) of your site.