Redesigning a web site #IL2011

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.


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