We are excited to share with you a preview of another section of the new library website. We are especially proud of the new look for Hours & Locations, which makes this critical information much more accessible to patrons. Moreover, this redesign leverages Drupal's content management function to provide library staff with a much simpler, more streamlined back-end process for gathering and displaying hours and location information.
Digital Library Blog
The work is divided into month-long "sprints". Sprints are intense work cycles in the Agile software development methodology. During these cycles, stakeholders and developers agree on priority tasks and functionality for each sprint.
Sprint 1 includes:
* getting the development website up and running
* implementing the website "theme"
* creating home, about, project, ask us, and search pages
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.
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.