Thursday, December 13, 2007

Learning 2.0: Assignment #12

What a frustrating half hour it's been trying to figure out Rollyo. In fact, I think this experience sums up exactly why I get so easily frustrated with web "tools."

Before I get into that, I will say that -- once I figured it out -- Rollyo does seem to have quite a few interesting possibilities for librarians, especially those on the reference desk. If you'll indulge me for a moment: my personal subject speciality is healthcare as I worked in the industry for over 10 years before becoming a librarian. The best part of the job was helping patients, caregivers and professionals communicate more effectively and obtain the information they needed for any given event. Health literacy is a huge topic of interest for me; I think we can all agree that Americans of all backgrounds and education levels sorely lack the information they need to make good healthcare decisions that are so vitally important to navigating the system. I hope to expand this interest into my new librarian position, and what better way to start than creating my own "Health Answers" Rollyo*.

Briefly, back to my Rollyo frustrations. Quite simply, the site is not user-friendly! I hate having to search entire sites for something as simple as, oh, a direct link to the Rollyo I just created. I was also frustrated by the fact that, if I briefly navigated off the site, Rollyo forgot all the data I had placed into its fields. Perhaps its just me, but I feel that a lot of the tech folks who create these tools forget that the average person thinks and organizes information differently than they do. This is why site testing is so vital -- and why creators should listen to the feedback, good and bad.

* = Please note that this Rollyo is in no way comprehensive yet -- it's what I could throw together in 20 minutes based upon the websites and I know and trust. In general, the best one-stop-shop you can visit to get reliable healthcare information is MedlinePlus. Your tax dollars going to a useful cause!

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