Revision as of 13:39, 8 August 2013 by Carrie Macfarlane (talk | contribs) (Tips for Creating LibGuides)



Some help for creating and editing LibGuides:

Midd LibGuides Reusable Content

Always consider whether you can start with reusable content rather than starting from scratch. Find links for the following reusable content in the "Admin Alerts" box of your LibGuides Dashboard:

  • Storage Guide: Reusable Content
  • Databases A-Z
  • Links Archive: SubjectsPlus migration
  • Template
Tips for Creating LibGuides
  • Style/design issues that guide creators cannot change because they are default for site consistency
    • Color of headings
    • Box borders
    • Tab styles and colors
  • Creating a new guideAlways begin with the template. This will make it easier for you to follow the style rules below.
  • Columns: Follow the template. Landing page has 2 columns: left column is wide and right column is narrow. Subsequent pages have no more than 3 columns: if using 2 columns then left column is wide; if using 3 columns then center column is wide.
  • Page length: Try to keep landing page content above the fold
  • Intro Text: Include brief contextualizing information, plus brief overview of contents and how researchers might use the guide. No need to provide a welcome message from the librarian; these do not have an impact on researchers.
  • Guide Text: Keep it brief! users mainly want links, examples. Be vigilant; do not rely on jargon or acronyms.
  • Tabs (quantity): Limit to 1 row (but may have sub-pages)
  • Tab headings: Keep it brief, and make it informative/intuitive to students. Avoid jargon.
    • Example: “Background Information” instead of "Reference"
    • Provide a fuller description of the contents of each tab in the "What's in this guide?" box on the landing page.
    • If you need more space than a tab allows, you also may use the "Description" field. The text in this field appears when the user hovers over the tab.
  • Add:
    • (1) “Ask a librarian” sidebar box widget, and
    • (2) your profile box in right column
  • Friendly URL: Always provide a "Friendly URL" (Guide Settings > Change Guide Information).
  • Profile Guidelines
    • Box title: Subject Specialist
    • Profile image: Your photo, a recognizable picture of you. Minimum 90x90 pixels. Make sure it loads quickly.
    • Website/blog: optional
    • Contact info:
      • Davis Family (or Armstrong Science) Library ____
      • 802.___.____ (phone number: use periods, not dashes)
      • ___@middlebury.edu (email address: type it out)
      • Subject specialty (liaison departments): ________
    • Customize profile page
      • Fill in: Office hours (optional)
Miscellaneous advanced tips
  • Box header with no title (for images, etc.)
    • Instead of typing in a title, type the HTML code for space: &nbsp
  • Create a scrolling box (Rich -text box):
    • In Plain-text editor, add this at the top of HTML code (in <>brackets): div style="height: 300px; overflow: auto;"
    • And add this closing at the bottom of the text in HTML brackets: /div
    • Detailed instructions for other boxes, too
  • Create a tabbed box
  • Suggestions from Stacy's Usability Document:
    • "Welcome" statements: viewers skip
    • Search box: viewers don't see/use
    • Tabs: viewers don't notice or don't see sub-tabs
Suggestions from LibGuides Best Practices Webinar
  • Consider including persistent links to database search results (like our MIDCAT searches for language DVDs). (This is called the “Worked Example Theory.”)
  • Naming conventions: [Add here.]
  • Always include alt tags for images (This i sfor accessibility; screen readers can read alt tags.)
  • Web writing guides: [Add here.]
  • Use the appropriate box type. For example, use a ‘links’ box for links (this allows stats and link-checking).
  • Guidelines from the Center for Plain Language (plain language is a civil right!)
  • Quick Tips from plainlanguage.gov
  • Reduce cognitive load; we may have a reader's attention for only 3 seconds. Readers are easily overwhelmed by too much content, too many choices.
  • Reduce the amount of text. Cut it in half, then cut it in half again.
How to create/edit database descriptions

[Add content here. If you (guide author) see a database description that needs to be updated site-wide, what to do? Workflow (including CM staff). Is it possible to create a customized description but preserve the shared URL?]

See this link about A-Z list and links/descriptions:http://help.springshare.com/content.php?pid=146532&sid=1245463

How to add a url to a link description

See this LibGuide FAQ.