My logic model began with me at my desk with a few sheets of blank paper and a handout from the Logic Modeling workshop I’d attended. There were times when I wanted to just read over the handout and move on; some of the questions were not easy to answer. I had to push myself to really think this through and come up with real answers before moving on.
Here’s a recap of what I had in front of me:
Situation: What is the problem or issue? Why is this a problem and what causes it? For whom does the problem exist? Who was a stake in it’s resolution?
In my case, the problem was a poorly designed website that is not easy to use. This is a problem because information is not accessible if it cannot be found. We currently have an ok website, but much of the information is hidden under meaningless tags, and there is some library jargon that needs to be changed. This is a problem for experienced internet users, but moreso for those with little or no computer or internet experience. If information cannot be found, this is a source of frustration for both library staff and the public.
Priorities: What is the purpose/goal of our website?
We’d like to have structure based on function. (We currently have our structure based on age level of intended audience, for some reason. We also have structure based on random topics that for one reason or another rose to the top of the hierarchy, but the reasoning behind it cannot be defined.) We’d like strong content and visual appeal. While these sound very nebulous, as an overarching goal of the website, I think this works.
Goals I’ve defined are as follows:
1. To facilitate access to information resources
2. To provide awareness of library programs
3. To encourage interest in library materials
Inputs: What do we invest in the project?
In our case, our investments are staff time (the biggie), which includes research time and production time. Our other investments are money (minimal), software, and equipment (which we already have.)
Outputs: What are the activities, services, events and products that reach people?
Outputs lead to specific outcomes.
What we do: provide information, provide education, provide recreation
Who we reach: library users, non-users, all demographic groups
Outcomes: What are the expected outcomes?
Short-term impact: Website is easy to use, information is found
Mid-term impact: Number of users is increased
Long-term impact: Interactive environment, users return due to ease of locating information/fun, a virtual community is established
Assumptions: What are the “givens” here?
Web standards lead to ease of use: Don’t reinvent the website concept, take advantage of users’ current expertise.
Usability testing uncovers flaws: No matter how much you think you know about web design, you need to test it on your users to uncover any problems they encounter.
External Factors: What are the external issues that will affect your project?
Access to internet: economic barriers to use, server downtime
Ability: how to meet the needs of the disabled or elderly