Our incoming first-year students are often unfamiliar with many aspects of academic research. As such, my aim was to create a website that was very straight-forward to use and aided in our information literacy instruction.
The design was heavily influenced by input from our librarian staff and LibGuides usability studies from other universities. I heavily customized the templates and CSS to fit our needs, while leveraging the built-in capabilities of LibGuides to keep the site simple. I also established and trained our librarians on guide creation best practices from information flow within the guides to accessibility issues.
I have since tested the site in real world settings working extensively with students on the reference desk, in the classroom teaching information literacy, and virtually via chat reference and iteratively roll in improvements into the site design based on issues encountered.
In our annual satisfaction surveys, ratings for our online services have climbed significantly, and observations by our team have shown our students more intuitively know how to use the site. Also librarians have found the site to be much easier to teach with as well.
2018 update: new librarians have implemented major changes