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The Online Experience Group is increasing its focus on enabling content creators to author clear, concise content for the new website. While an exact date is not yet set, technical developments are progressing at a pace that will soon allow content creators to access the site, update existing content and build new pages. In the spirit of laying “fresh eyes” on current content and developing good habits for continual content review and updating, we recommend the following e-resources on writing effective web content. It's never too early to review and revise content intended for the new site.

Redish, Janice (Ginny). Letting go of the words: writing Web content that works

Ginny Redish’s website also contains good information on writing fo the Web.

The US Government’s Plain Language website may sound like an oxymoron, but it provides guidelines for and examples of good, plain writing for a mass audience.

ALSO: The Online Experience Group is looking for an amateur photographer to join the Image Group. Please contact Mike Nack (mnack@stanford.edu) to learn more and to express your interest.

The Online Experience Group has been working hard on a proposed new design for subject guides. Subject guides are envisioned as tools to help users navigate a broad or specific subject area and to identify key SULAIR specialists.

We carefully considered how the website redesign would impact the many and varied subject guides. Based on user studies and subject specialist interviews, the proposed subject guide model is intended to provide maximum flexibility for providing content within a visually consistent, branded framework; and to support maximum ease in content creation, organization, and maintenance. The guide model strives for a simple, intuitive design, with support for media, automatic feeds, and custom design within a standard framework.

Six personas (user categories) were developed, each with specific needs. The new design intends to meet the needs of each of these user types:

Hello all!

This is just a friendly reminder that the new SULAIR website preview is available for your viewing pleasure! We have begun receiving valuable comments which will inform our continued building-out of the site. We encourage the Stanford community to continue sending in requests, comments, complaints, questions, and praise. The feedback link may also be accessed on the preview site. Happy exploring!

The new library website had a table at the Library Open House, at which we did some light-weight testing and previewed a live test site to visitors. It was a big success in that the table received approximately 50 visitors, 21 of which participated in the live test. The breakdown of testers included:

  • 10 undergraduates
  • 4 graduate/professional school
  • 3 lecturers/instructors/visiting scholars
  • 2 library staff
  • 2 other SU staff

Testers were directed to a laptop and asked to perform 3 to 5 common website tasks. Charles Kerns introduced the tasks and recorded whether or not it was successfully completed. All tests were recorded using Camtasia so we can replay them as videos and analyse how testers navigated the site to accomplish common tasks. The following is a list of some of the tasks we tested:

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. This redesigned page and workflow represents a massive work effort and is the result of collaboration among the Library Website Redesign Team, members of DLSS, and Chapter 3. The image below is a snapshot of the layout for this page (note, data shown is for display purposes only). As always, we welcome your feedback about this page.

Hours and Locations mockup

On a related note, as we prepare for the website sneak preview in early November, the Online Experience Group will be contacting many of you soon for your assistance in providing content for various sections of the new site.

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

Behind the scenes, a technical writer has been drafting and editing content needed for the website preview. DLSS developers have been working on integrating search technologies into the website, including a feed from Stanford Who to create "people" pages, and new and improved support for keeping library hours information up to date.

As each sprint is closed, members of the online experience group will lead a review of the work that has been done, to insure it meets requirements.

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.

In the past month, we have made 8 presentations to staff from over a dozen different units, with still more visits planned soon. If you or your unit would like us to visit you too, please contact us. We are very eager to share updates and hear your feedback!

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.

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