What are the most important factors in making a digital library user-friendly? How can they be carried out?
One concept that I have embraced related to making a digital library user-friendly concerns how change is introduced. I am impressed with UX Librarian Aaron Schmidt’s (http://www.walkingpaper.org/) writings on the topic and one key concept he returns to often is the manner in which change is introduced. We are all familiar with complaints about a digital library/website/etc. leading to a dramatic tear down, as effort is made to “rebuild from the ground up”. From a user perspective this can be a sign that your library is hearing your input. One outcome of this approach is noticeable frustration as well, as users have to wait for the new redesign to be implemented. Schmidt suggests instilling a “culture of change” and an “iterative approach” where small improvements are being introduced regularly in a non-disruptive fashion. There is certainly one reason commercial sites like Google and Amazon are successful and that is related to how what changes they implement being non-disruptive and even seamless with the user-experience. So, I completely agree with others mention of the importance of soliciting feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, but the manner in which that feedback is introduced is highly important in my opinion.