The joke lately at my library is that our website just doesn’t matter anymore. Today, I saw this sentiment come alive in our analytics data.
As you can see from the graph below, we have a typical academic usage pattern, with activity building up during a quarter, peaking just before finals and then crashing as students rush off on their inter-quarterly wanderings.
What was interesting in this last quarter’s data was that this activity failed to build to its usual tempo. In fact, it appeared to build and then flatten out.
The culprit? I think this is our hosted research help portal, LibGuides, which we just soft-launched in the middle of the quarter…about the very time student research needs start to draw them to the library. Pre-LibGuides, we would see alot of traffic to our locally-hosted Subject Guides, which would show up in our analytics data. But LibGuides, which is replacing these Subject Guides, is off the radar as far as Google Analytics is concerned (for now), so this may be why we saw such low numbers.
Anyway, with WorldCat Local configuration almost complete and LibGuides readying for a hard launch in Fall, the library web site will likely see even further erosion in usage. And this is a very good thing, because it means we’ve gotten all the other stuff out of the way, improved the signal to noise ratio and just simplified the act of accessing our resources (which are also all off-site and out in the cloud).
That’s what they call usability folks!