The organizational priorities and design principles listed below describe the vision and values followed by Duke University Libraries in maintaining our web presence.

Organizational Priorities

Goals and values for the website to ensure that it aligns with the library’s strategic objectives. Derived from the library’s vision statement, strategic plan, and related planning documents.

  1. Strengthen our role as essential partners in research, teaching, and scholarly communication: be a center of intellectual life at Duke.
  2. Reflect and advance the distinctive character of learning and research at Duke University.
  3. Bring together our world-class content, services, people and technology in a manner harmonious with the way that our user community actually works.
  4. Facilitate efficient, productive, and high-quality research.
  5. Foster discovery, serendipity, and interdisciplinary collaboration.
  6. Highlight our beautiful, inspiring physical spaces that encourage reflection, intellectual exploration and academic interaction.
  7. Maintain flexibility in the site to foster experimentation, risk-taking, and future innovation.

Design Principles

Core design priorities to ensure that the site is developed in a way that provides an optimal user experience.

  1. Put users first.
    Understand our users’ needs thoroughly, then provide the best possible user experience by focusing on those needs. Acknowledge that we are different from our users and that we have multiple categories of users whose needs vary.
  2. Be credible & trustworthy.
    Verify data and information, perpetually remove outdated or inaccurate data and content, & present relevant content at the point of need. Maintain accountability for content ownership, and develop mechanisms to ensure data quality across systems.
  3. Keep it simple and clear.
    Make things intuitive. Eliminate superfluous information and other distractions to allow users to complete tasks easily. Use concise, consistent language.
  4. Provide clear hierarchy & visual cues.
    Give the most crucial elements the greatest prominence. Optimize pages to support the most frequent or important tasks. Group related content together and provide signposts or cues for wayfinding.
  5. Avoid library jargon.
    Use language that is natural and clear to our users. Don’t force users to decipher obscure library terminology (e.g., department names and vendor system titles).
  6. Design for a diverse audience using a wide range of devices.
    Ensure that content is readable by as large an audience as possible on as many devices as possible. Adhere to section 508 and WCAG accessibility guidelines. Embrace responsive design and use progressive enhancement.
  7. Innovate & evolve.
    Continually explore new ways to meet users’ current needs and anticipate future needs. Take risks and assess the outcomes.

The Duke University Libraries' User Service Philosophy is a document that is closely related to our Vision and Values.