There are ideas that resonant with you and over time and become values. Last year I heard Jenny Levine talk about meeting patrons at their point of need. We were able to correctly identify certain places where this was possible and results have been overwhelmingly successful. David Lee King talked last year about the “User Experience” and has blogged about Ask-a Librarian Services needing a reboot. So I took a look at the service that we were offering to see if there was a possibility for improvement. Here is the before picture.
What struck me about this page is we were telling people how to ask a question rather than providing them the mechanism too actually asks. Looking at the statistics showed that patrons were clicking on the ask link but not asking. I had also found that patrons were emailing their questions directly but we were only capturing 16% all potential questions.
Here are the statistic from Dec 15th 2008 until Jan 16th 2009
Here it appears to be show that 1,221 patron click on the click but on 199 have actually filled out the ask form. While many patrons may email directly I felt a redesign would capture more patrons at their point of need.
Here is a look at the new design.