Matthew Reidsma

Work Notes

Updates from the GVSU Libraries’ Web Team.
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Document Delivery label tweak (or: Feedback is everwhere)

I like hearing from our students and faculty about ways we can improve the library website. On Document Delivery and Course Reserve, we’ve added a feedback tab for folks to report problems and send us ideas and comments. We made a Library Status page so folks could easily report problems or see if a problem they had found had already been reported (or fixed). Feedback coming in through these channels, as well as emails I get from coworkers, are a good starting point for finding issues to work on. But these are just a fraction of the ways our students and faculty talk to us at the library. That’s why once a week (or more), I like to look through tweets and chat logs to look for little pain points that can be fixed.

Today I spotted one from a chat request with a student who was setting up a Document Delivery account for the first time:

Chat Transcript showing a student who misunderstood the purpose of the pickup field

A simple misunderstanding

I realized immediately that the problem here wasn’t so much what the label said, but rather, finding a way to communicate the purpose of the question. We weren’t asking them to come pick up everythign they requested, only books and theses borrowed from other libraries. I had heard of this complaint before, so I adjusted the labeling slightly to clarify:

Before: no context for the scope of the pickup location option

Before: pickup location for what?

After: label now clarifies what the pickup location is for

After: Pickup location is just for books.

I still need to do some user testing to see how this new label works, but I think it’s a good start. Working on it reminds me of a tweet from Aarron Walter of MailChimp:

Aarron Walter: Interface Design is 90% writing clearly

Aarron Walter on copywriting

But more than the fix itself, it was a good reminder that there are a lot of places we UX folks can look for feedback from our users, and it’s not always going to be in Google Analytics, usability test transcripts, interviews, or your email inbox.