Two Upcoming Learning Opportunities

I have was given the good fortune to present three times this fall. The third one’s information isn’t online yet, so you’ll just have to settle for two for now.

Creating Low-Cost Interactive Displays for Your Library
Monday, October 5, 2015 at Farmingdale Public Library from 10 a.m. to 12 noon
More information

If you were to look at my eBay history, you’d see that I’ve been buying some cheap digital photo frames as demonstration pieces. I’m still looking into other hardware pieces to bring along for this hands-on workshop.

Getting Started with Usability Testing Webinar
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 12 noon PST
Free
Register Online

Infopeople have a very thorough onboarding process and high expectations of their instructors, so this workshop should be great! It will be focused to library staff in general as this LSTA grant funded project looks for practical and easy educational opportunities for their students.

Voiceover Mode on iPad

I was assisting someone today who was nearly blind and was using Voiceover mode on her iPad. How extremely difficult and unintuitive it was made me clumsy. It takes 3x as many keystrokes to type in anything. We were trying to use one of our 3rd party vendor sites and ah…

I’m not an accessibility expert. But I felt such burning shame at how difficult this equipment was to use. In order to type, the patron needed to be able to see the keyboard. The letters were too small. What is the point of a search box if the text within it is itty bitty?

This was not the first time I’ve had a patron come in with an iPad for accessibility help. Each time they leave so disappointed because they simply can’t size up the text large enough. I’m not sure how Android or Windows tablet handle in this area. But surely, someone can do better.

The Opening Act

After four years, my work is going to result in the main project I was brought on board for. I’m excited about it. I’m terrified. When I first arrived, I did a big Trello board that tracked requests, issues, ideas, and tasks as they moved from To Do to Done. The corkboard of design concepts from other sites has been taken down. Too much time has passed for them to be relevant any longer. So I replaced them with analytics data to study. I then connected them with embroidery thread.

Outside of my office, I have been meeting with staff to get their input. They’re surprised and happy that I’m asking them. I find this strange since my MO from the beginning was asking them to tell me their ideas. I’ll then put them in my Trello board to track. Now I’m typing up my handwritten notes and putting them into Asana. I was thrilled today when I realized I could assign subtasks to people. I like using project management software, but let’s see if it catches on.

I’ve also begun to poke at the latest edition of the CMS. Since it hasn’t been released yet there isn’t too much officially on it yet. Bugs are still creeping in. Theming looks like it could potentially be a pain to learn a new system. However at this point, I’m more concerned about the information architecture that needs to be put in place.

Regarding content strategy, I’m strict about branding guidelines and presentation. I want libraries to look their best. If you’re going to post, you need to stick to the standards. Don’t write one vague sentence for a program and toss that up. I suppose this comes from my corporate retail background where you had to adhere to strict standards. I don’t think retail is any better than us. Libraries can look just as professional in our copy. Sure, the content types can have lots of lovely help text (and I wonder if I can set the system to refuse to publish any post with a link that is shown in the text as click here). However, will people understand why it’s important to look our best? We’re not just a library. We want our community to be proud of what their tax dollars and donations support. Metaphorically hiding dirt under rugs isn’t going to cut it.

Now how to express all this in a way that makes people care will be my challenge.