Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Library

Language

English

Abstract

This study considers best practices in subject guide design on the LibGuides platform based on usability tests and semi-structured interviews conducted at a mid-sized university library. The study investigated student preferences for guide navigation and was then expanded to address the overall usefulness of subject guides to students. The results indicate that the choice between side and tabbed navigation is highly individual, with students sometimes using the same reasoning to explain opposite preferences. The findings also suggest that thoughtfully maintained subject guides remain relevant to students. The authors recommend that librarians should enlist help from faculty members to promote subject guides and reconsider the inclusion and presentation of subject librarian photos in their guides. They also recommend that librarians conduct their own usability testing to ensure that their subject guides are best serving their particular institutional context.

Keywords

Subject guides, LibGuides, usability, research guides, undergraduate students, academic libraries

Publication Date

2019

Source Publication Title

The Journal of Web Librarianship

Volume

13

Issue

3

Start Page

1

End Page

20

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

DOI

10.1080/19322909.2019.1638337

Link to Publisher's Edition

https://doi.org/10.1080/19322909.2019.1638337

ISSN (print)

19322909

ISSN (electronic)

19322917

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