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Beyond the Fat Wire

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Interfaces and complexity

Apart from what I or we might think about Microsoft, MS Office, Jakob, or this conference, this evening's plenary was valuable I think.

There are ways in which our web site is similar to MS Office.
  • Lots of complexity and functionality
  • It's hard to find functions in that complexity
  • People have to be trained how to find and use those functions
  • People use our site because it's what they have to work with and/or someone tells them they have to use it
  • (now, if only we had Microsoft's billions of $$ heheh)
Because of that, it seems to me that the design goals and redesign principles he listed are applicable to us.

I go to these events -- Gilbane a year ago, ETech last spring -- and each time, I'm thinking: if only we could really get down to the real thing the library does -- provide access to information -- and recognize that anything else we do is mere "commentary" on that ... THEN we could design the site we need to have, create a brand image that will work, communicate to the university clearly about our value.

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