Redesigning a web site
Michael Epstein, U. of San Diego
Important: relationships, collaboration, must be able to communicate the unique needs of the library web site
Previous redesign: committee/consultant, library not involved, felt boxed in by templates
New redesign: Library was able to talk to interim CIO. Library staff on redesign team.
Lib. & IT both defensive. Explain why library is different, IT agreed to review other library websites. The library pages had users doing things on the site, databases behind the scenes.
Stakeholders unhappy with redesign. New consultant, new committee. Branding & uniformity vs. unique dept. needs
Compromise and completion
Learned to collaborate, build relationships. Be sure to communicate unique needs of library. Be willing to give up some control for a truly collaborative approach.
Virginia Franklyn, Pikes Peaks Library District
Web site was 8 years old. Some homegrown dbs.
Read Project Management for Dummies.
Project plan with timeline, in wiki, accessible to all staff.
Drupal: popular, flexible, robust, staff data entry and patron participation, free, supportive community
Read Drupal 6 by David Mercer and did all exercises cover to cover.
Drupal user groups for everything.
Website survey: catalog, find a good book, research, find events/programs/classes
Card sorting: did it as a survey on the web site (300 results) (Optimalsort)
MS Project for site maps
Don’t make me think by Steve Krug
Usability study: you’ll learn so much
Taxonomy: subject guides, databases — all integrated and easy to update by staff.
Marin County Library folks:
Moved from proprietary CMS to open-source Drupal.
Be committed, patient. Staff burnout: communicate, give them a chance to vent.
Bossing people you don’t supervise.
Tenacious: stick with details of vision
Latest redesign: started Feb., launches Nov 1
Integrating social media: blogger, flickr, facebook
Don’t spend a lot of time looking for free photos, betterto spend a few hundred $ for stock photos
Willing to talk to anybody about redesign
Social media committee
Weekly meetings with vendor
See if vendors can provide examples from projects with similar budgets as yours.
Ask what parts lib. staff are expected to complete and when.
Content spreadsheet: who responsible, and when due.