Improving Independent Student Navigation of Complex Educational Web Sites: An Analysis of Two Navigation Design Changes in LibGuides

  • Kate A Pittsley Eastern Michigan University
  • Sara Memmott Eastern Michigan University


Can the navigation of complex research web sites be improved so that users more often find their way without intermediation or instruction?  Librarians at Eastern Michigan University discovered that students were not recognizing navigational elements on web based research guides and tested possible solutions. In this study, two types of navigation improvements were applied to separate sets of online guides. Both sets of experimental guides showed an increase in use of navigation to secondary pages of the guides.

Author Biographies

Kate A Pittsley, Eastern Michigan University
Kate Pittsley is an Asst Professor and Business Information Librarian at Eastern Michigan University. She has also worked as a Business librarian at MIT and the University of Michigan.
Sara Memmott, Eastern Michigan University
Sara Memmott is an Instructor and Emerging Technologies Librarian at Eastern Michigan University.


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The LibGuides vendor Springshare has been amenable to customer feedback and open to suggestions for platform improvements.

How to Cite
Pittsley, K. A., & Memmott, S. (2012). Improving Independent Student Navigation of Complex Educational Web Sites: An Analysis of Two Navigation Design Changes in LibGuides. Information Technology and Libraries, 31(3), 52-64.