Matthew Reidsma

Work Notes

Updates from the GVSU Libraries’ Web Team.
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Hours Page Redesign

A while back, my students Jon Earley and Krzysztof Lower and I did a bunch of research into how our students and faculty were using our library hours page. We had seen some interesting trends that made it clear our old page wasn’t working any more, and we weren’t the only library to do so. The University of Minnesota and Johns Hopkins, among others, had recently written about their experience redesigning their hours pages to meet the needs of many users. In our own research, we knew we needed a system that would:

  • Conveniently display hours for 5 locations
  • Adapt to the fluctuating schedules of the academic calendar
  • Work on any size screen (this page is viewed by a lot of phones)

Designer extraordinaire Krzysztof took a few stabs at redesigning the page based on these needs and some competitive analysis. Here’s what he came up with:

Mockup of new GVSU libraries hours page

(The hours are a little screwy because we’re testing. Bear with us!)

  • The current hours have been reworded to let you know IF we’re open, WHEN we’ll close, or WHEN we’ll open next. The homepage today’s hours will be updated to match.
  • On small screens, all of the sections are collapsed. In our research, most smartphones users wanted today’s hours only. Getting more details is a click or tap away. (We’ll be adding some visual cues to the bars to indicate they expand, and adding a break between the library name and the hours for clarity.)
  • On large screens, the Mary Idema Pew library hours are visible. You can see the current status of the other buildings, and click in to get more details.

You can see the development version as we wrap up some loose ends on the test server.

We have a few additional tweaks we need to put on, but nothing that keeps us from rolling this out soon. We hope to have the new page live by early next week, so that the traditional confusion around our Exam Cram hours and holiday breaks. We know this isn’t a finished project, nothing ever is on the web. But we’re excited by the preliminary testing of our students and will continue to tweak and improve it into the future. Thanks to Brian, Kristen, Jason, and Jenn for all the great comments and suggestions as we worked through the redesign. As always, huge thanks to Brandon Ridge, our very own developer on the GVSU Web Team, who probably broke his brain writing the logic that powers the natural language display of our current hours. And a big high five to Krzysztof, who has done a lot of other great design work around the library but is making his website debut with the hours page.

We’ll let you know when the new page goes lives. Let me know if you have any questions!