LibGuides Best Practices
To reach our patrons most effectively, best practices are listed throughout this guide for you to follow as a LibGuide creator.
- Create a visual hierarchy. The top left corner is the “entry point” for reader’s eyes. This area should include heavier elements, such as bold text or images.
- Users tend to read in an ‘f-shape pattern.” Consider this when laying out important content.
Fig 1: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/f-shaped-pattern-reading-web-content/
Heatmaps from user eyetracking studies of three websites. The areas where users looked the most are colored red; the yellow areas indicate fewer views, followed by the least-viewed blue areas. Gray areas didn't attract any fixations. These red and yellow areas are where you might considering including your most important info.
- Arrange content in a “front-load” format. Include the most important information in your guide on the first page, and above the “fold” or the area where readers must scroll down to continue reading.
- Keep your guide clean and simple. Don’t let lines of text span across the entire webpage. Break up text in columns. Paragraphs should be short, 5 or fewer sentences. Keep your content clear and concise.
- Give your reader’s eyes a place to rest. Including every relevant resource can be overwhelming for readers. Select the most important resources and arrange them in a way that looks nice and signals to your readers what their eyes should do.
- Include a table of contents. While studies have shown that the most important information should go on the first page, where readers spend the most time, consider also including a table of contents to give them an idea of the guide’s contents and how to proceed.
- Include a short description for your links.
- Guide, page and tab names should concisely and meaningfully summarize the content they cover. This allows your user to skip information as they need to.
- Link through the University of Utah’s proxy when creating links. This allows students to access full text without being prompted to login when they click through.
- Springshare's Best Practices for Creating LibGuidesBest practices from the creators of LibGuides themselves.
- Getting Started With LibGuidesAdditional best practices and instructions in a LibGuide from the University of Illinois.
- Really Really Ridiculously Good-Looking: Best Practices for Creating LibGuides by Meghan DamourThis chapter greatly informed the guide you're viewing and contains many excellent suggestions for how to create quality LibGuides.
- Last Updated: Jan 4, 2023 8:57 AM
- URL: https://campusguides.lib.utah.edu/bestpractices
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Tags: best practices, libguides, training