An Example of Surprising Users

These webpages have some whitespace and layout issues. Nothing totally major, and nothing that couldn’t be fixed with some simple CSS tweaks. Another problem that really stood out to me is that the site behaved differently than I expected it to. Navigation surprises on the web are disorienting and should be avoided.

I clicked on the Google Maps screen shot (to the left of Hours & Directions) expecting to be presented with, you guessed it, some variety of Google Maps. Maybe (and preferably) it would be embedded in a page on the site. Maybe it would take me to Google Maps.

Instead I saw this.

No map. Boo. The address of the library doesn’t even link to a map.

I like that the site has account and book lookup info at the top of the page but the actual meat of the page is halfway down, requiring people to hunt around for it. Speaking of which, I just looked at another branch location and found that there is indeed a Google Map embedded but it is below the fold. Why there’s not a map embedded Sammamish location we can’t be sure.

One more thing about the layout. The first place people look on a webpage is the upper left. What do we see on this page? A library logo and blank space.

6 thoughts on “An Example of Surprising Users”

  1. Yeah, KCLS may be one of the most utilized public library systems out there but there recent web refresh is buggy and confusing. I didn’t realize you were in the Seattle area Aaron!

  2. Hopefully you emailed the webmaster to let him know that there was no map for Sammamish — don’t worry, I’ll do it for you. Looks like you were using Chrome; I wish looked the same in all browsers, but alas.

    Love your blog, by the way!

  3. I live in King County WA and I love the KCLS. The system is huge, with a terrific assortment and availability of resources. Many online databases are accessible from members’ home computers. Consumer Reports, for example. The staff is wonderful. On-site services, such as computers and printing, are very good.
    I agree the web site could be better. But I have no complaints about the KCLS.

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