Monday, June 11, 2007

Improving the SFX menu

Xerxes article (podcast, actually) on Cal State redesign of SFX menu. As it appears 'out of the box' is confusing. One way to test Web page usability is to squint at it. Notice how certain things pop out and other elements recede. Designer should make sure that the most important items are the ones that jump out. In this case, why are "Ebsco Host" and "Innovative InnOPAC" highlighted in red? Students typically don't know what these mean. Better to highlight and hyperlink the words "full text". Moreover, bands of variant shades of gray in background should be removed. Font face should be Verdana. Citation info should be offset at top to give it more prominence. Get rid of "full text available" boxes which probably not well understood and take up a lot of space. Section headings are redundant, since often only one item per section, and in any case self-explanatory. Template files (.zip 14k) are provided.

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