Michigan State University Library Website Redesign

UX/UI Case Study, 2021

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Overview

The client, Michigan State University Library, tasked our student team to conduct user research and propose an updated library website design (for the home page and one other page).

 

Team: Isabella Wood, Lauren Kurzawa, Max Nicholson, & Justin Lee

Objective

Find key issues as well as key wishes pertaining to current outdated library website. Use findings to design an website keeping in mind accessibility.

Approach & Deliverables

Prototype, high-fi sketches, and style guide for MSU Library Website, supported by user research.

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Process

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Image by Dollar Gill

Research

Interviewed: MSU students, professors, librarians and staff

“I use the MSU Library website to find scientific articles for my research papers but sometimes it is hard to navigate and I can’t find what I am looking for.”

“Being in the Eli Broad College of Business, group work has been an essential part in almost all my classes. The library’s website has been helpful in giving me the opportunity to reserving spaces for my group and I.”

“I use the MSU Library website to find scientific articles for my research papers but sometimes it is hard to navigate and I can’t find what I am looking for.”

Personas based on interviews:

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Analysis

Card Sorting

Goal
Understand how users naturally navigate and eliminate excess navigation upon learning areas of confusion. 

Findings

“Resources” vs “Research Help”:
Minimize to one navigation heading.

Keep “Request Forms” in Contact tab and remove it from “Using the Library”. No need for repeating links across navigation bar. 

Make Library Staff “Telecommuting Guide” into one section specific for staff.
 

Competitive Analysis

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Goal
Compare the MSU Library's website to modern/updated library websites of competing schools and normal libraries such as University of Michigan, Gonzaga, and Hennepin County. 

Findings

After comparing, we suggest that MSU incorporates these ideas: 

Place a background image behind the search function for modern look.

Create a help section.

Social media icons in footer.

Incorporate sidebar content into the general horizontal layout.

Remove the carousel.

Heuristic Evaluation

Goal
Individually assess each part of the Home Page and its usability along with the current modern standing in web design. Below is a graphic showing our assessment (ideally every category would be at 100%).

Findings

Multiple design inconsistencies in design and style between different pages.

Lack of consistent, intuitive navigation between different pages.

Need for improvements for the display of content and layout of different pages.

Need for detailed, yet concise, explanation and direction on search functions.

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Ideation

Lo-Fi Sketches 

Design

Hi-Fi Sketch

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