SpringyNews: Short & Sweet

February 2015

5 Ways to Save Time Inside your LibGuides

This edition of Springy Tips & Tricks is all about saving you and your users time. Time is a valuable commodity, one that slips away quickly and can not be replenished.

So in the interest of time...

Because time is of the essence...

And there's no time like the present.

... Let's cut to the chase!

 


 

1. Creating Page, and Sub-Page, Friendly URLs (LG1 & LG2)

In the interest of saving time, saving your users' time is also paramount. When you assign properly nested friendly URLs, you save your users time because they don't have to think about where this link will send them - it tells them outright. 

Properly nested URLs are important to the User Experience (UX). If a user 'backspaces' to specific section of a URL, it will work.

For example, let's say that Patty the Patron is sent a link to a LibGuide by Laura the Librarian.
The link is: libguides.com/climate-change/sustainability/recycling

Where:

  • Climate-Change = Guide URL
  • Sustainability = Top-Page URL
  • Recycling = Sub-Page nested under Sustainability

Let's say Patty wants to learn more about other Sustainability resources, if she backspaces the URL to remove 'recycling,' it will automatically take her to the top-level page of 'Sustainability.' 

So, whether you're building guides in v1 or v2, be sure to include proper nesting of guide/top-level-page/sub-page in your URLs. 

Proper Page-Level URL Structure:

http://domain.libguides.com/guide/top-level-page/sub-page

In LibGuides1:

 

nested LibGuides1 URLs

Using LibGuides CMS?

Add in the Group-level domain, if applicable:

http://domain/group/guidepage/sub-page

 

In LibGuides2:

nested urls LibGuides version 2

 

Note

The guide-level domain is automatically included in the page-level URL.

Be sure to include:

  • Top-level page URL in sub-page URLs
  • CMS-Only: Group-level URLs

2. Cut to the Chase - Front Load your 'Best Bet' Content (LG1 & LG2)

Jakob Nielsen / Nielsen Group

How Users Read on the Web

"Users scan the page, picking out individual words and sentences."

It happens to the best of us, we don't have time to read all the contents of an entire webpage. Whether we use 'Control + F' to jump to the most important bits or we do a fast browse, even librarians don't read every bit of copy on every webpage all the time. Don't worry, your secret is safe with us!

Assuming that your users are short on time, and shorter on patience, front-load the first page of your LibGuides with 'Best Bets' resources. Even if they don't have time to read the entire guide, they'll still get helpful information right off the bat.

arlington public library


3. Organize Your LibGuides Content for Optimal Use (LG2)

Imagine your ideal desk setup. All of your most-used items are easily within reach of your dominant hand. Your less-used items, tucked away and stored properly for future use. All designed to ensure maximum speed and efficiency.

Well, the same concept applies inside your LibGuides system. Think of each guide, page, box, and asset item as a tool - and organizing them for optimal use helps you build LibGuides faster and maintain them easier. 


4. What's in a Name? (LG2)

Before you know it, you'll have 100, 1,000, or 10,000 assets in your LibGuides system. Sounds amazing, right? Well, it is - but naming your assets with a mindset for findability will ensure that you'll build your LibGuides much faster and much more efficiently. 

Tips:

  • Name for Findability - when naming your assets, giving it a rich description will help patrons understand what the asset is and how to use it. But, giving it a name and description that you'll remember will help you find it 3, 6, or 12 months from now. 
  • Use Search - in Content > Assets, you can search on an asset's title and description fields. Use that to your advantage when trying to find assets to reuse. 
  • Asset Types - You might remember today that you created a link asset to an e-book, but will you remember three months from now? Save yourself time and frustration and always use the right asset type for content you're adding. 
  • Subject Categories - remember, you can assign subject categories to your assets! In the future, you'll be able to:
    • Retrieve a list of assets by subject
    • Build widgets by asset type & category. For example, show me all the links assigned to the subject area of Nursing. 

naming assets for findability


5. Streamline Your Image Management (LG2)

If you're anything like me, and I hope you're not, you've got 10,000 images on your computer all named with some obscure numerical reference. Does img102832019.jpg sound familiar to you? Well, nothing spells 'time-suck' like hunting around in your LibGuides Image Manager trying to find that one image. Avoid that with these tips:

  1. Sharing is Caring - If you have images that at least one other guide author might want to reuse, add them to your shared image library. 
  2. Name Search - Name your images properly (i.e. not img102832019) and when you have 10K of them, searching will be a breeze.
  3. Use Folders - In LibGuide2, create folders and store images in them, making it really easy to find the image you need to use again and again. Try:
    • Naming Folders by Guide
    • Naming Folders by Type (Database Logos, Screenshots, etc.)
    • Naming Folders by Importance (Reused Images, One-Off Images, etc.)

image management