Sunday, December 21, 2008

Design paradigm

Sometimes you can do everything you can possibly do, and it still isn't enough.

A student had a problem locating an online article at the library. It was in the 2004 issue of some random journal. A search of our online journal list pulls up this random it looks like we have it. But, there is a indication of the years we have access to, clearly delineated when the user clicks on random journal title. 2004 is not included in those years. Yet said student does not register this.

This is something that I have noticed while helping people, both at the public library and at the university. People do not seem to read what is on the screen in front of them. At first, I assumed this was just laziness on their part (students today tend to give up at the first obstacle they encounter in their searches). Then I started wondering whether there is something wrong with the design of the websites they are looking at: is the layout confusing, the text too weird, the colors off-putting? Does our online journal list fall into any of those categories?

Something to think about next year. I'm supposed to be on break.

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