The Online Experience Group has been busy reaching out to groups all across SULAIR to present exciting information about the website redesign project. In these hour-long visits, we have presented hot-off-the-press glimpses of the look and feel of the new design, sketches of new pages and functions, and the timeline of the work ahead. But most importantly, we have had the opportunity to discuss the redesign progress with interested library staff who have shared important insights, suggestions, and reactions.
Digital Library Blog
We have been providing in-person updates to key library staff groups over the last several weeks. We are sharing with everyone the PowerPoint slides we have been using. The slides include a projected timeline for the project, as well as an overview of what staff who create and maintain content on the library website should be doing throughout the project. As always, we include a list of ways for library staff to remain actively engaged with the project.
By now, you've seen the site map and the emerging visual design for the new site; these are like the foundation and the décor of a new house. Between these two layers, there's a lot of design work around creating the rooms, placing the windows, planning the traffic flow, etc. In a website project, that design work is represented in mockups or wireframes that define how the pages will be laid out, what content will be presented, and how the navigation will work.
We are excited to offer a preview of the emerging visual designs for the new library website. We have included a version of the home page and a sub-page (Ask Us) to give you a sense of the colors, font, layout and overall design aesthetic of the new site.
Keep in mind that these designs are in the early stages of development and -- importantly -- the text and labels in these designs are not by any means final.
A critical step in the development of a large complex website is the definition of the information architecture. The information architecture defines the structure, hierarchy and navigational pathways of a website, and the major categories of content.
Website designers often use personas to insure the design will meet users' needs. "A persona is a character sketch that represents a particular segment of the target audience," according to Steve Mulder, author of The User is Always Right: A Practical Guide to Creating and Using Personas for the Web.
The SULAIR Website Redesign Project has officially kicked off! The project team is excited to be working with web consultants, Chapter Three, on the first big step--developing a detailed workplan for rolling out a new library website by Fall 2011. To help focus the project, we have developed the following high-level goals.
It seems, as of late, that the Green Library has been abuzz with rare books and ephemera of a Presidential persuasion. This is to be expected, as the current Library Exhibition focuses on The American Enlightenment, and features a copy of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which has the signatures of both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. It also highlights some other noteworthy items from the Special Collections, which are displayed in the cases along the Library’s rotunda and halls. American History Professor Caroline Winterer, Special Collections' Exhibition Manager and Designer Elizabeth Fischbach, and Curator of Rare Books John Mustain, selected every item to help flesh out an understanding of how certain aspects of the Enlightenment in Europe were interpreted across the seas -- ranging from fashion, to science, art and architecture and all other areas of life -- during that particular time period. The various display cases serve to illustrate different facets of these new ways of thinking, and also serve as a framework for the incredibly beautiful and well researched exhibition catalog and accompanying exhibition website. Indeed, the exhibition has been receiving a lot of attention from visitors and scholars, and was recently featured in an article by the San Jose Mercury News.