Getting Our Users Back

Meredith’s latest post discusses user experiences that suck and those that really suck. I have a Dyson vacuum that I love.  Meredith ends her post asking how much our users put up with before they leave for greener fields and which company we would want to be like.

I want to know how we get users back after they have given up because I believe that the difficulty of our systems drive many of our users away. One of the tenets of Library 2.0 is going where the users are. Do we make our systems not only easy to use but also easy to find? Are our catalogs hid behind many clicks and contain so many options that a user quickly becomes overwhelmed? Do we hide articles behind words like database or index?

I actually never thought about the word “database” until the ALA Web Planning Retreat. I explain database over and over and over at MPOW. How many times have you done it? It is especially hard for younger users who do not even have the concept of an index with which to compare it.

Many libraries have come up with novel (haha, novel) ways to reach people using all kinds of tools. I wonder what tools will emerge in 2007 that can make an impact on what we do everyday?

–Jane, should stop typing and pay more attention to the football game