I am the Web Services Librarian at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. I design user interfaces and user interactions for our collection of websites. My research interests are usability, accessibility, and design ethics. Library Journal named me a “Mover and Shaker,” which led to many unfortunate dance-related jokes in the Reidsma household.
Here is a selection of highlights from my designs.
For the past 11 years, my primary design responsibility has been the GVSU University Libraries’ homepage and associated pages and sites. I provide wireframes and final design mockups to the University Web Team for the overall look and feel. I designed and developed the header search boxes, hours module, density monitors, and content strategy for this page and the rest of the University Libraries’ site. Although I have done a few full-site redesigns when the University updates its branding, I am always iterating small parts of the design based on user feedback.
Here is a snapshot of 12 months worth of iterative designs on the University Libraries’s homepage.
In 2015 ProQuest incorporated my design (including GVSU’s colors) into 360Link 2.0. In January of 2021, GVSU switched to EBSCO’s Resolver, and this project was retired.
Our original OPAC login screen had separate forms depending on whether the user was a GVSU affiliate or a visitor. The visual design gave each form equal weight, and user research and usage analysis showed that many users had trouble deciding which login to use, and everyone had trouble with the term “Community User.” Since over 99% of our users require the GVSU affiliate login, I redesigned the user interface and interaction model for the login screen to default to the GVSU affiliate login, but to change the underlying metadata of the form and visual cues if a user chose the Visitor login.
In June of 2021 we migrated from Sierra to FOLIO, and this design was retired in favor of our campus SSO login.
ILLiad has proven to be ripe for visual design upgrades, but no where more so than in its error messages. By default, ILLiad error messages and confusing (not to mention visually unattractive). The customization manager for ILLiad also limits how errors can be displayed. I redesigned ILLiad’s error messages after undertaking user and stakeholder research. The results helps users know why they were receiving an error, as well as how to correct it. It also makes life easier for our Interlibrary Loan staff, since the error messages clarified what was wrong with a user’s account or request.
I first created the GVSU UI Pattern Library in 2012 to ensure consistency in the visual designs of our user interfaces. In 2017, GVSU’s Web Team redesigned the University website using a modified version of Bootstrap, and so this pattern library became a supplement to the Bootstrap documentation. It enables anyone to find usable design patterns and relevant markup. It also serves as a toolbox for me when I create new designs.
In 2012 I co-founded Weave: Journal of Library User Experience, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal published by Michigan Publishing. A well-designed user interface for the journal and supporting pages was important to us, so I partnered with Michigan Publishing to build new, responsive designs within the constraints of their journal hosting platform.
The website has since been migrated to a new hosting platform, but these designs are still available on the Web Archive.