A Journey, Not a Destination: Towards a More User-Centered Library Discovery Experience

When a user visits the library website, they typically have a specific information need. We offer users a host of tools and resources to resolve that need. However, there’s often a fundamental misalignment between our resource-focused approach to wayfinding on the website (“databases,” “course tools,” “books,” “special collections”) and the topic-focused way that users typically frame their need. In addition, those tools and resources are dispersed among data silos such as the website, catalog, and digital collections repository, making it difficult to discover resources without intentionally navigating to specific layers of the library’s discovery ecosystem.

This presentation outlines an ongoing web discovery project to align the library’s web platforms with current user information-seeking behavior. This project will create a more seamless discovery experience across the library’s web platforms by contextually exposing the full range of library offerings throughout all stages of the online user journey. We will share early inspiration and research that underpin the project, including demonstrating low-fidelity prototypes; research on user discovery needs; the potential of technologies, such as taxonomies and knowledge graphs, to harmonize metadata across platforms; and strategies for surveying metadata architecture to form a foundation on which to build the project.


1:35 PM
20 minutes