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:
eyes read in f-pattern
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.

Additional Resources

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library