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  • Tab McDaniel

    Tab McDaniel 9:30 am on December 1, 2017 Permalink |  

    Making it Easy to Find the Right Library Space 

    The web team is excited to share our new library spaces page, scheduled to launch next Friday, December 8th.

    The new design brings our find a study space and find a computer lab information together, rather than repeating information across two different pages as we do now. This update makes it easier for our patrons to get a complete picture of our resources.

    The change we’re most proud of is the new filtering tool. The most sought-after information — noise levels, computers and peripherals, reservable rooms, and location — are now buttons that our patrons can use to quickly find the right space with the right equipment.

    New Computer Labs & Study Spaces filters

    As with all things on the website, the new page is a work-in-progress, and subject to improvements based on analytics and user feedback.

    Speaking of feedback, we’d love to hear from you before next Friday’s launch. Play around on the new page and let us know if you find any bad information, broken links, wonky behavior, or if you have ideas for how to make the page better. Feel free to leave comments below, send us an email, or ping us in the #website channel in Slack.

    • Sean Mcclelland 9:58 am on December 1, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Looks good! I don’t understand what a “considerate” space is, though, and how it’s different from “quiet.”

      • Tab McDaniel

        Tab McDaniel 10:35 am on December 1, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Good point, Sean. We were concerned about that as well. We asked our testers (students, the main users of Library space) to define those terms for us. I was mildly surprised that 10/10 understood the difference between considerate (occasional, low-voiced talking but no ongoing conversation) and quiet. Interestingly, ‘interactive’ was less easily understood than ‘collaborative’, so we switched to that term for ‘feel free to make noise’. We link to the precise definitions in the table: https://www.library.ucsf.edu/about/policies/noise/.

    • Gail Persily

      Gail Persily 12:43 pm on December 1, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great new page! I was wondering about the decision to set up the filters to be “and” instead of “or”. By that I mean, if I select both ‘quiet’ and ‘considerate’ I get no results because it is only filtering for things that have both of those attributes.

      Is this something you looked at in user testing? Or still playing with?

      • Tab McDaniel

        Tab McDaniel 1:12 pm on December 1, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for that question, Gail.

        We’re limited to AND filtering because of development restrictions. Right now, we don’t have the devpower to build a custom solution, so we used existing WordPress plugins and a sprinkling of dev magic from Stefan to get as far as we’ve gotten. Out-of-the-box we could only select one filter at a time.

        We think it’s worth users having to back themselves out of a ‘no results’ filter set to gain multi-filter functionality.

    • Ariel Deardorff

      Ariel Deardorff 3:48 pm on December 1, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Very cool!

    • Andres Panado

      Andres Panado 9:22 am on December 4, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply


      Maybe I may have missed the “Noise” policy…but it’s nice to know that feature is added to the filter and it directs folks to that page.

      It would also be great if “Considerate Study” stickers are placed on the doors of the group study rooms. I sometimes would pass by the study room on the 4th floor and would hear students inside laughing and talking so loudly that others outside could easily hear their conversations.

      • Tab McDaniel

        Tab McDaniel 8:30 am on December 5, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Good eye, Andy. The Noise page is new; adding ‘noise level’ information to the new Computer Labs & Study Spaces page meant we needed to define our terms for users seeking clarity. As for stickers … Kemi and Kirk are working on new signage, but I don’t know what the rollout looks like.

  • Tab McDaniel

    Tab McDaniel 10:31 am on September 20, 2017 Permalink |  

    Summon Beta Launched, Staff Feedback Breakdown 

    Today we’re going live with our Summon Beta

    Our home page has been updated with a prominent call-to-action, inviting site visitors to explore our beta home page with global search, and complete a short survey.

    Library Staff Survey Results

    Collections and the Web Team couldn’t have gotten this far without all your help. Below you’ll find an overview of what we learned from the staff-only survey.

    While all respondents think that our patrons will like Summon, they called out some key issues like

    • some Archival Materials were miscategorized as Books (fixed)
    • filtering is nice, but it takes some time to figure out (ruh roh)
    • we should alert the user when we have multiple formats for a result, like print and full-text online (working on a fix)

    Click below for a closer look at all your feedback; we’ll also post color printouts in Room 114 by the end of the week.

    Public-facing staffers

    If you haven’t yet familiarized yourself with how Summon works, please reference and maybe bookmark these resources:

    • The videos provided by Summon under Reference Staff for a good overview
    • There is also a Summon LibGuide that is largely geared toward questions that library staff may have

    We’ll stay in Beta until Summon is ready

    We’re actively working on the problems you’ve found, and we’ll keep you posted as we make progress. In the meantime, we hope you’ll keep calling out issues and giving us feedback so we can get Summon to work the way our patrons need it to. We’ll stay in this Beta phase for the foreseeable future.

  • Tab McDaniel

    Tab McDaniel 1:56 pm on June 12, 2017 Permalink |  

    Melvyl Now Works with EZproxy 

    We partnered with CDL to fix a long-standing usability issue with with Melvyl.

    An off-network visitor might be prompted to sign in to UCSF Library before viewing search results. Unfortunately, following this prompt sent the user to our full text information page, instead of giving them an easy way to log in and view the full site.

    We’re finally meeting user expectations

    The Melvyl/EZproxy integration means off-network users who are prompted to sign in or click a remote access link can use their MyAccess credentials; after signing in, the site will reload as if they’re on the UCSFwpa network.

    As with all things MyAccess, an already logged-in user might bypass the sign in form, and see the refreshed site immediately after clicking.

    Melvyl Off-network: Before & After EZproxy

    • Richard Trott 2:26 pm on June 12, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I tried including emoji but they didn’t work in this commenting system. So you’ll have to accept this instead:

      100! Thumbs up! Wow face! Tada! Face with sunglasses looking cool!

  • Tab McDaniel

    Tab McDaniel 2:30 pm on May 16, 2017 Permalink |  

    Website Updates: Library Site Header & Footer 

    As most of you know, the Web Team is using an iterative approach to the Library site redesign: we launched a pretty good version of the site, and make incremental improvements as we learn more about what is/is not working for our users.

    With that in mind, we will introduce changes to the header and footer on Monday, May 22:

    Finding All Hours Information

    A few weeks ago, we introduced changes to how branch hours are displayed. These changes were sparked when user testing revealed that while our patrons appreciate seeing today’s hours in the header, users interested in future hours were more likely to go to a branch page.

    Another key takeaway from that round of testing was that the All Hours link at the top of every page did not look like a link to most users.

    We tested different solutions, and the most successful design brings back the horizontal layout from the old site, and replaces the All Hours text link with an obvious button. While the button was far more visible to those who want to see all hours, the majority of testers still sought hours information at the branch level, not the global level.

    Redesigning the way hours display at the top of the site meant finding a new place for the Search this website feature. Our first impulse was to find a way to keep it in the header. However, by taking a close look at our site search analytics we discovered that many users were mistaking our website search for an articles/database/catalog search, entering queries like PMID numbers and article titles. Our solution is to move the Search this website field to the site footer, grouping it with the rest of the About the Library information.

    Site search in footer is a common web design pattern, and the bonus is our users will see the more sought-after articles/database/catalog search first.  We’ll keep an eye on our search analytics to see if this cuts down on the number of off-target searches.

    A More Usable Mobile Site

    Finally, the changes above go a long way to fixing some of the known issues with how our site works on mobile devices. The logo, hours info, site search, and exposed menus push the page content out of view on smartphones, forcing users to immediately scroll if they’re interested in anything besides hours and menus.

    We weighed the benefits of having hours and menus always visible (as they are on tablet and desktop) against immediately bringing the page into view.

    We decided to prioritize the page content; the simplified mobile header, with its collapsed menu bar, button-ized hours link, and relocated site search, now brings the main content of every page into a smartphone user’s view.


    Customer-facing staffers should note these changes, in case our users have questions. Please slack or email the web team with their comments; and as always, we want to hear from you too!

  • Tab McDaniel

    Tab McDaniel 4:36 pm on April 7, 2017 Permalink |  

    CDL Request for Feedback: Changes to UC-eLinks 

    Some of you guys have already received announcements from CDL about the introduction of their new UC-eLinks sidebar panel, which will replace the current design of a UC-eLinks frame sitting on top of an article. The change is scheduled to go live to all UC campuses on April 17, 2017.

    The Web and Collections teams are excited about the design update; we know that confusion around UC-eLinks is a major pain-point for our users, and we hope the new sidebar will help to orient users, and clarify alternate methods of accessing article content.

    Testing Period & Request for Feedback thru April 14, 2017

    The CDL is asking for feedback, suggestions, and comments. Send email to UCeLinks@ucop.edu with “DirectLink SideBar” at the beginning of the subject line.

    Click any of the following links to view specific examples:

    1. Loads in SideBar; multiple fulltext options
    2. Loads in SideBar; one full text & one selected full text target
    3. Loads in full menu; vendor doesn’t allow content in frame

    Conduct a search at the UCSF Melvyl Testing Site

    You can run a search that you know will generate a UC-eLinks button at our UCSF Melvyl testing site. Clicking the UC-eLinks button will pull up the new sidebar.

  • Tab McDaniel

    Tab McDaniel 11:11 am on March 20, 2017 Permalink |  

    Website Updates: Searching, Profiling, Making, Reserving 

    So much happening on the Library website! Let’s dive in, shall we?

    New Page: Makers Lab

    The web team worked closely with Dylan and Kemi to give the Makers Lab more of a presence on the site. We’re very happy with the new Makers Lab page, and will continue updating it as Dylan migrates content from the old Guide.

    New (Old) Page: Reserve a Computer Classroom

    When Tech Commons switched to the 25Live platform for classroom reservations, we disabled the old Classroom Reservation form and started sending our users straight to the 25Live home page. This was less than ideal, since users had to go through a search & filter process every time they wanted to view available Library classrooms.

    Now that 25Live has enabled direct linking to classroom calendars, we’ve brought back our dedicated Reserve a Computer Classroom page. Hooray for direct links!

    Staff Profiles are back!

    We mentioned last month that staff profile pages were making a comeback, and we’re happy to report that they went live last week. A welcome side-effect is that a staffer’s profile is usually the first thing that appears when you search the site for a staffer’s name, which is really good for our users and staffers.

    Please take a moment to access your profile from the staff directory, and let us know if you have any changes.

    All praises due to Service Desk staffer Shauna Hannibal, who alerted the web team to the poor results she was seeing from the Search This Website search box at the top of our site. Thanks to Shauna’s feedback, we’ve made some improvements to the way site search works, and also fixed an issue with code fragments appearing in search results.

    Dialing in search is a challenging and ongoing process, so if you’re seeing unexpected or unhelpful results from your site searches, please let the web team know!

    • Gail Persily

      Gail Persily 12:34 pm on March 20, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for these updates about new content and features on the website. They are very helpful!

    • Shauna Hannibal

      Shauna Hannibal 4:55 pm on March 20, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks, Tab!

    • Julia Kochi

      Julia Kochi 2:46 pm on March 21, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the updates! It makes it easier to keep track on what’s changing on the website. And thanks very much for the return of the Reserve a Computer Classroom page. It will make scheduling classes easier.

    • Dylan Romero

      Dylan Romero 9:32 am on March 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thank you for all your hard work Michele and Tab – the site looks really clean on a laptop, phone, and tablet!

  • Tab McDaniel

    Tab McDaniel 12:02 pm on February 13, 2017 Permalink |  

    Website Update: Staff Directory & Profile Pages 

    The web team has published an improved Staff Directory. The updated directory table can now be sorted and filtered, and fixes a problem with how information from this page displays in search results.

    We’ll bring this improved table format to the Study Spaces and Computer Labs pages as well.

    Alongside the improved directory, we’re ready to roll out staff profile pages:

    Some new ideas we’re trying:

    • less text on the page, making it easier for users to find the information they’re looking for (usually a way to call or email a staffer)
    • links to social media
    • linked email addresses instead of individual contact forms
      • instead of building and maintaining 50+ individual form pages, we will embrace the UCSF Directory example of simple email links. We’ve added an obfuscation script to prevent bots from harvesting our email addresses
    • a link to your UCSF Profiles page (if you have one)
      • we know there’s a desire to pull UCSF Profiles data into this page. We do not currently have developer support to explore this idea. We recommend keeping your UCSF Profile up to date and pointing users there

    We did a short round of user testing to make sure these changes made sense

    We were concerned that:

    • if we removed the old profile column from the table to save space, users might not understand that clicking a staffer’s name would open their profile
    • users would be frustrated at having to click through to a staffer’s profile page to send them a message (versus having an email link right in the table)

    When tasked to 1) find an employee directory and from there 2) send a message to Sarah McClung, most testers performed as expected. While 100% of testers located the staff directory (without using site search), 80% of testers understood that clicking the Sarah McClung link would lead them to Sarah’s contact information.

    Action items: we need your help

    Live examples of the headshot and no headshot staff profiles are on our staging server for your review. We’ll need to build each profile one at a time, and we appreciate your continued patience.

    To speed the process, please email or slack the web team by 2/17/17, telling us

    1. if you have any updates to your directory listing
    2. if you have social links you want to share
    3. if you have a UCSF Profile you want to share
    4. if you do not want to list your telephone number
    5. if you do not want to share your email address
    6. if you do not want a profile page at all
    7. what, if anything, you’d like to feature in Ask Me About
    8. headshots: we already have images for a number of staffers. If we do not already have your headshot, or if you have an update, please forward your high-resolution headshot to the web team. Alternately, just let us know if you prefer the no headshot profile page

    If we don’t hear from you at all, we’ll dupe the information from the current staff directory.

    As always, your feedback is welcome!

  • Tab McDaniel

    Tab McDaniel 2:45 pm on November 7, 2016 Permalink |  

    Library Website Redesign – We’d Love Your Feedback 

    Michele and I are pleased to share the beta version of our redesigned Library website.

    With a few exceptions (listed below), everything from the current site has been recreated on beta. We’ve streamlined content where it made sense, and made the most sought-after information easier to find.

    Still to be done:

    • Forms
    • Individual staff profiles
    • Optimizing for mobile devices
    • The visual design is close but still in-progress: we still need to standardize some of the visual elements and fill in missing images

    What happens now?

    We’ll spend the next month user testing, and refining the site based on what we learn from testing and what we learn from your feedback.

    The redesigned site will go live and replace the current site in December, 2016. We’ll share the specific date and time as December approaches.

    Please share any feedback by November 15th

    You’ll find an anonymous survey link on the site; we’ll keep the survey open until November 15th, and we encourage you to complete it as often as you’d like during that period, especially since we’ll continue making changes.

    Of course you’re welcome to contact the web team via email or Slack, or set a meeting.

    The beta site is private and requires a login:

  • Tab McDaniel

    Tab McDaniel 10:00 am on August 15, 2016 Permalink |  

    Help Test our Search Prototype 

    Michele announced the launch of our working search prototype in the #website Slack channel last week:

    Hi everyone! You’ve seen the prototype, but now we’d like to share the actual functioning search. This is an interim solution that will be used until we pilot the Summon search solution, but it should solve some of the problems that our current search presents.


    Please take a few minutes to kick the tires at https://beta.library.ucsf.edu/test-page/. We’re looking forward to your feedback, as well as reports of buggy or unexpected behavior. There’s a survey button on the prototype page, or you can comment publicly in Slack.

    The beta site is private and requires a login.

    Please see the Slack channel for the username and password, or email the Library Web team and we’ll send you the credentials.

    Image of beta search prototype

  • Tab McDaniel

    Tab McDaniel 3:21 pm on July 7, 2016 Permalink |  

    Website Redesign: Getting a Handle on Our Information Architecture 

    We’ve already posted a few times about evaluating and refining our content for maximum scannability (on the web, scanning is the new reading). Today I want to share how the web team is working to better organize and structure our content for maximum findability. In other words, we need to get a grip on our information architecture (IA).

    (More …)

    • Ariel Deardorff

      Ariel Deardorff 3:37 pm on July 7, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I love the graphics and style of your presentation Tab!

      • Tab McDaniel

        Tab McDaniel 3:45 pm on July 7, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks! Also, thanks for the super-mathy chalkboard image from one of your presentations … I think it was the LibQUAL results overview?

    • Ariel Deardorff

      Ariel Deardorff 3:50 pm on July 7, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Haha yep! Although all thanks goes to Kemi for gathering those images.

    • Jonathan Johnson 1:01 pm on July 8, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I love this low impact way of testing assumptions. I’m trying to figure out how we can steal it. Great write up.

      • Tab McDaniel

        Tab McDaniel 3:49 pm on July 8, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thnx! Ping me if you want to talk about testing methods …

    • Michele Mizejewski

      Michele Mizejewski 10:56 am on August 4, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Test comment — does Tab get an email alert?

  • Tab McDaniel

    Tab McDaniel 10:01 am on June 1, 2016 Permalink |  

    On Meeting With Experts and Searching for Library Services 

    A staffer reached out to the web team to let us know they’d had a hard time finding out how to book a consultation with a librarian (or topic expert) at our web site.

    We know that a lot of our most crucial content isn’t very easily found, and the web team is working to fix that with our redesign. In fact, while we’re planning to prominently feature ‘meet with an expert’ on our redesigned home page, there are already a few paths to booking consultations on library.ucsf.edu in case you (or a patron you’re helping) need to:

    • ‘Meet With an Expert’ is an option in both the Research Support and Course Support menus, and clicking either link lands the user at Specialized Consulting Services
    • Research Support link appears in the right-hand sidebar on a number of relevant pages, and takes the user to Specialized Consulting Services
    • The Ask Us/Contact Us links are available at the top and bottom of every page of our site, and take the user to our main contact form; in fact, most paths from the Specialized Consulting Services page eventually route the user to the main contact form

    (More …)

    • Sarah McClung

      Sarah McClung 10:33 am on June 1, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Love the suggested search terms- “men with a librarian” 🙂

      Why is the page title so wordy? “Specialized Consulting Services” seems like overkill to me. Meet with an expert, schedule an appointment, etc. seem way friendlier and to the point.

      • Tab McDaniel

        Tab McDaniel 10:36 am on June 1, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        “Specialized Consulting Services” is definitely not what you’d call user friendly. We promise you won’t see it on the new site 😀

  • Tab McDaniel

    Tab McDaniel 3:50 pm on February 1, 2016 Permalink |  

    Call for Volunteers: Help Make Our Site More Awesome 

    via LibUX

    Hello Library Staffers!

    Here’s a wacky statistic: research shows that the typical user spends 10-20 seconds on a web page, scanning (not reading) to find what they need.

    Attentive, focused reading on the web is rare, even for our patrons. While we can’t change user behavior, we can streamline and simplify our content to make sure key information jumps out at the user as they scan the page, so that they leave our site satisfied.

    The web team took a small step toward a simpler, more scannable site when we launched our redesigned contact page last year, and we’re ready to bring that kind of clarity to the rest of our site. But first, we need to get a grip on our existing content. We’ll conduct a content audit: a comprehensive inventory and objective evaluation of every page of library.ucsf.edu.

    Why yes, that does sound like a big job, and the web team could use your help.

    This is definitely a case of the more the merrier, teamwork makes the dream work, etc., etc., and we hope to not only leverage our staff’s editorial skills, but to be able to say this is our site, built by all of us, not just the web team. We’ll use methods outlined at LibUX to make the project easy, shareable, and achievable in just a few minutes a day over the length of the project.

    If you’d like to help shape the next version of the library’s web presence (for only pennies a day in just a few minutes a day!), reply to this post or send me an email, and I’ll invite you to our kickoff meeting.

  • Tab McDaniel

    Tab McDaniel 1:15 pm on October 26, 2015 Permalink |  

    Personas for User-Centered Design 

    One of the Web Projects Team’s guiding principles is making and maintaining digital products with a focus on user experience. Part of our user-centered design approach involves working off personas: archetypal representations of the kinds of users the Library serves, and what each user type needs.

    Building off the the work started by Michele Mizejewski and Erin Hayes last year, we used insights from our 2014 and 2015 interviews with customer-facing Library staffers, key takeaways from LibQUAL 2013, and feedback from our How Are We Doing satisfaction survey to put together an updated persona deck that we’ll consult for every digital project going forward.

    Keeping Researcher Jeff, Faculty Nancy, Nursing Student Kofi, Clinician Evelyn, and Archives Alan in mind throughout our design processes will ensure we’re always aligned with our user’s needs, and not designing to our own biases. For this to work, our persona deck needs to be a living document: to be modified as needed for specific design challenges, and as we learn more about our users from our ongoing feedback project, user interviews, and user testing.

    We encourage Library staffers to use these personas for your own projects, and to watch the Personas for Web Projects wiki page for updates.

  • Tab McDaniel

    Tab McDaniel 1:30 pm on October 23, 2015 Permalink |  

    Asking Our Patrons ‘How Are We Doing?’ Part 2 

    Remember way back in July when we announced the launch of a very short satisfaction survey at library.ucsf.edu?

    How Are We Doing tabAnytime a patron clicked the How Are We Doing button at the bottom of every page, they were asked a simple question: How would you rate your experience today? Patrons could let us know if they were satisfied or unsatisfied with their web experience.

    Regardless of their answer, they’d be prompted to go into detail and provide some demographic information, but the only required question was whether they were satisfied/unsatisfied. Our hope was that keeping the survey short and to the point, and constantly available on every page, would encourage participation.

    The not-so-secret goal of this survey structure was for the web team to learn directly from our patrons where they’re having problems, so that we design solutions based on their needs and not our own assumptions. Our thinking was that a user frustrated enough to leave a comment was a user we’d want to hear from.

    Enough Background Already, What Did We Learn?

    The stats below are from July 7 through August 23, 2015, the day the before we started our Zendesk pilot. We’re excluding post-Zendesk dates because the Zendesk Help button began competing with the How Are We Doing button for user attention (more on this below), and we want to focus on clean data.

    Of the 201 responses received during that period, 65% had a satisfactory experience at our site. Hooray!

    If we drill down to the 76% of respondents who shared their demographic information, the overwhelming number of responses came from UCSF affiliates (94%), with Staff leading the way, closely followed by Faculty, then Students. It’s likely the data was skewed by the summer months, and it’ll be interesting to see if the affiliation breakdown changes now that the fall semester is in full swing.


    Patron satisfaction is awesome, but remember our not-so-secret goal was to learn why our users are unsatisfied. While only 20% of all respondents bothered to comment at all, our hypothesis about frustrated users being more likely to go into detail was correct: 87% of comments came from unsatisfied users. Hooray (really)!

    Unsatisfied Users are More Likely to Comment

    What’s Making our Users Unhappy?

    Most of the frustration came from patrons who felt that navigating the site and finding what they needed was too hard. 2nd prize for user frustration goes to remote access issues, with patrons expressing difficulties with EZproxy, UC-eLinks, and VPN.

    Connection errors and library service issues (comments like you don’t have a book I want and my barcode number doesn’t work anymore) tied for 3rd place, and I was personally amused and humbled to know that 9% of the feedback was about how annoying they found the feedback survey popup window (removed after a few weeks).

    Unsatisfied Users - Comments Breakdown

    * If a patron gave feedback in more than one category, I picked the dominant issue.

    So What’s Next?

    The respondents who answer yes to Can we follow up get added to our list of potential interviewees and user testers. We were fortunate to meet with some respondents already, and we used their comments and other key takeaways from this satisfaction survey, the interviews we conducted with customer-facing staff, and the LibQUAL 2013 survey to finalize the Library User Personas we’ll rely on as we make changes going forward. I’ll post more on our personas next week.

    Always Be Collecting Feedback

    We’ll keep the satisfaction survey going, but with the successful rollout of Zendesk, the time has come to modify how we ask for feedback. The How Are We Doing and Zendesk Help buttons serve different purposes; unfortunately, the current design doesn’t make that distinction clear. Getting requests for help in the satisfaction survey gave us useful information before Zendesk launched, but now it’s more appropriate for help me please comments to show up in Zendesk tickets for faster customer service and accurate group reporting.

    We’ll launch our more low-key request for feedback next week.

    New Feedback Button

    The new Feedback button will live at the bottom of every web page.

    • Kemi Amin

      Kemi Amin 2:52 pm on October 23, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is great! Looking forward to seeing how the feedback is manifested on the site. Thanks Tab and Michele!

  • Tab McDaniel

    Tab McDaniel 2:56 pm on August 18, 2015 Permalink |  

    A Friendlier Contact Page Launches Monday, August 24, 2015 

    One of the ways we’re working to improve user experience on our site is by streamlining content. The Ask Us and Contact Us pages are prime makeunder candidates, especially when you consider that a patron who has reached either of these pages needs help. They’re probably a little stressed out, so we should do everything we can to make that point of contact as painless as possible.

    The current version of Ask Us suffers from an overabundance of explanatory text. Unfortunately, the typical user doesn’t actually read the page; they scan the page* trying to pick out relevant phrases and links. With this much copy they’ll spend an uncomfortable amount of time looking but not seeing.

    Reducing the amount of text actually gives us enough room to bring the contact form here, instead of having it live on a separate page…and just like that, 2 pages serving related purposes become one.

    Two become one


    We’re calling the combined page Contact Us, both because the primary function of the page is about how to get in touch with us, and because the Help feature that we’ll introduce with the Zendesk pilot will take the place of Ask Us.



    How will this affect you? The small changes we’re making primarily affect our patrons; the experience for library staffers who handle customer service won’t change. The form will route tickets/emails to the relevant department. Telephone numbers, the chat module, and links to informational pages like computing, consulting, borrowing, and service hours are still on the page, and are in fact more findable in the right-hand column.

    Feel free to play around with the new Contact Us page on our staging server before it goes live on Monday, August 24. The form works, but for now all submissions go to the web team.

    Questions? Feedback? Let us know in the comments section.

    * Did you read or scan this article?

  • Tab McDaniel

    Tab McDaniel 11:33 am on July 1, 2015 Permalink |  

    Asking Our Patrons ‘How Are We Doing?’ 

    We’re about to launch a feedback program on the library site, and we’d love your help.


    After 40 seconds or so on the site, a popup window will appear on your next click asking the user to rate their experience very simply: satisfied or unsatisfied. They will have the opportunity to go into detail if they choose. This very short, in-the-moment survey makes participation easy and should open our eyes to pain points we might not be aware of.


    The popup happens only once (until the user clears their history); if the user closes the popup window or navigates away, it will be replaced with a feedback tab on the right of the browser window, where the survey will be available for the user to access at will without being annoyed by repeated popups.

    Also, when we move this to the live site, we’ll block staff machines from seeing the module so it won’t impact your experience. The survey will likewise be blocked from the public terminals throughout the building.


    Before we go live, we’d love your help in testing this new feature. If you have time today, please play around on our testing site, http://drupal-stage.library.ucsf.edu/, and let me know if anything feels weird or buggy. Note that we’re only testing on drupal-stage; catalog, search, and guides don’t have the satisfaction popup installed yet. Oh, and please feel free to take the survey; the one you’ll see is a longer, less-fancy version of the survey our patrons will see once it’s live.

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