FROM MESS TO SUCCESSTips on Redesigning Websites     November 3, 2012     California Library Association,     San Jose, Ca...
MARIN COUNTY FREE LIBRARY
WEBSITE 2010
BRAND 2000-2012
BLOG 2010
SOCIAL MEDIA: THE JOURNEY            http://lonewolflibrarian.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/social-media-explained-07-02-12/
MCFL SOCIAL MEDIA OVERVIEW   County of Marin Measurement for Results (MFR) FY 10-11    Develop a social media strategy th...
SOCIAL MEDIA CHEAT SHEETSFOR STAFF
PHOTO GUIDELINES
CHEAT SHEETS
TOOL KITS
INTRANET: POLICIES AND PROCEDURES             http://theantisocialmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Darth-Vader-The-Ant...
WEBSITE TIMELINE (1 OF 5 PAGES)
TIPS During vendor selection, ask for examples of  websites created with budgets approximate to your  project Technical ...
WIREFRAMES: HOMEPAGE
TIPS Confirm who is actually creating the wireframes for  your project– you or the developer Keep your contract on hand ...
WIREFRAMES: ALL THINGS SOCIAL MEDIA
WIREFRAME: BRANCH PAGE
THE SPREADSHEET
PROOFREADING
USE GOOGLE DRIVE
INTRANET: PREVIOUS
INTRANET: HOMEPAGE
INTRANET: HOMEPAGE; FOOTER
INTRANET: BRANCH PAGES
INTRANET: POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
INTRANET: POLICIES AND PROCEDURES1. Learn to Log on every day and read the system   and branch blogs2. Learn to Post to yo...
MANAGING EXPECTATIONS“All truth passes through three stages. First, it isridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third...
TRANSITION   Staff unhappy with old site     Site was locked down     Adding new content was difficult   New site desi...
BUY-IN   Acknowledge everyone’s input & respond with how    it fits into the plan     Not all ideas can be included    ...
TIPS Communicate often, give progress reports Focus on main goals:     Increased usability     Increased access for st...
TIPS   Training plan:     If no resources, try interns     Ask Administration for staffing     Share info with early a...
STAY POSITIVE                Office Space
CRITICAL VS. NON-CRITICAL
CRITICAL VS. NON-CRITICAL
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT DRUPAL
USE QUALITY TOOLS
DOCUMENTATION
HAVE FUN!            Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
SAY YES          http://www.meloveletters.com/self-love-is/self-love-say-yes-to-yourself/
EXPECT FAILURE                 Looney Tunes
THANK PROFUSELY
WHAT’S NEXT?Reflect, thenBoldlyGo….
TIPS Conduct surveys Track usage of site with Google Analytics     What are people looking at?     What do they use?  ...
QUESTIONS?
How to get in touch with us at MCFLAmanda Foust,                      Julie Magnus,             Sarah Butts,Electronic Ser...
From Mess to Success
From Mess to Success
From Mess to Success
From Mess to Success
From Mess to Success
From Mess to Success
From Mess to Success
From Mess to Success
From Mess to Success
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From Mess to Success

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From Mess to Success: Tips on Redesigning Websites

Amanda Jacobs Foust, Marin County Free Library; Julie Magnus, Marin County Free Library; Sarah Butts, Marin County Free Library

The Marin County Free Library team discusses taking both a public and staff site from mess to success in a challenging environment with comments on new leadership, limited time, diverse staff in 10 locations, a library brand in flux, and a commitment to incorporating a full-scale social media integration. They will share tips on redesigns as well as lessons learned on how to work effectively with staff and the public and also address documentation, training and the procedures developed to gather and implement post-launch updates and improvements to both sites.

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  • AJF: Overview: Hi everyone, I’m Amanda Jacobs Foust, the Electronic Services Librarian for Marin County Free Library and I am here today with my colleagues, Julie Magnus, Head of Reference of the Corte Madera Library and Sarah Butts, a former intern who also now works for Corte Madera Library. Marin County Free Library serves a service population of 139,000, with a 6 million dollar annual budget, circs 1.6 items annually with 100+ employees spread over 10 branches, a bookmobile and literacy program . Additionally we are part of a Marin County consortium: MARINet, which includes six city libraries and one University; serving an additional 100,000+ patrons.
  • JM:ContextOur website has evolved over time, with four major design changes in the last 8 ½ years. Control of the site used to be much more centralized, with all page design and content being created by just a few staff members. We moved to a proprietary content management system (CMS) and used Hannon Hill for a while, but found the cost too prohibitive and the limited use licenses restrictive. As part of our most recent project to redesign our website, we decided to opt for an open source CMS, Drupal. Our early sites did not incorporate any interactive components, though we did have a blog (started at the end of 2003). Our redesigned site includes social media, and multiple blogs which allow patron comments. As you can see from this slide, the design was pretty limited: columns of text, with little to help users scan the page and find information. We did have space for some graphics, but these were mostly very simple art, with limited space to place them on the page. Our banner “Evolving Knowledge” did include a spot for a rotating picture, but the execution of the banner itself lacked integration with our brand, and the graphics were not very dramatic.
  • JM: MCFL has also refreshed its brand. Our old brand had been in place for quite a few years, and looked dated. It incorporated a prominent local geographical feature, Mt. Tamalpais, books & bytes. During our web redesign, the re-branding process was taking place, which caused some problems with our timelines. Our new brand, visible in the top left corner, includes the initials of our system in four differently colored circles. Our tag line is “Marin County Free Library My choice for leisure, learning, living.” This phrase uses the four initials of our system’s name as the first letter in each of the words. As rolling out our new branch was also a significant project for the library, we had to delay some of the design work on the site to incorporate the new brand.The webpage you’re viewing here is an earlier version of our website, simple, mostly text-based.
  • JM: Context: Old Site: BlogFrom this zoom in of our home page, you can get a better view of our blog feed in the far right column. Our blog ended up functioning as a glorified calendar, with the majority of postings referring to library programs. The blog was initially created by our eServices librarian, who did all the posting for the first several months. Then, when that became a lot to maintain, we created a blogging team to help out. We did have other posts about library databases, earthquake awareness, book info, etc. Slowly, the committee sort of disintegrated, though some of us kept plugging away. Branch managers and other staff did sometimes post, as well. However, this blog was all one-sided, and did not allow for any conversations/comments, etc. from users of the library.
  • AJF: The Journey: Social Media Ramp-Up: Amidst the development of the new website and rebranding project, I evaluated how other libraries were using social media, developed a Social Media rollout and Implementation Plan; which was approved by our Executive Team in early 2011 and I began building the sites.I’ve spoken to staff about social media countless times, but I have a printout of this pinned to my cubicle wall. EVERYONE who stops at my desk asks for this, all that time, if only I had thought to explain it using donuts, I could have saved us all so much time. New Site: 11/2011
  • AJF: The Journey: Social Media: So here’s our plan, in it’s simplest terms, it’s not as simple as the policy PC Sweeney once advocated for on the ALA Think Tank Facebook page: get online and be nice to people, but I tried to keep it simple. In fact, one of the biggest lessons learned is keeping it simple, because everyone will try and make it complicated. We provided individual and group trainings at each branch location to familiarize staff with each of the platforms. We created tip sheets, controlled vocabulary lists for tags and labeling and step by step instructions.
  • AJF: The Journey: Social Media
  • AJF: The Journey: Social Media
  • AJF: The Journey: Social Media
  • AJF: The Journey: Social Media
  • AJF: Successes and Failures: When I took on the Electronic Services position, I knew I had a lot of work to do. My immediate predecessor was a role model for how not to do the job. I knew that re-doing the website would take a lot of time and energy and was prepared for obstacles, however, I underestimated the resistance staff would have for using social media. The Executive Team, who approved my rollout and implementation plan, only added one thing in anticipation of staff resistance, a committee, using the diagonal slice model, meaning we brought in a staffer from each committee and branch, as the implementation team and I remained optimistic.To describe me as naïve at this point would be an understatement. The idea behind the committee was to educate and train staff with the expectation that they would return to their branches and committees and spread their enthusiasm and training. Instead, it was inadvertently a group that wasn’t the least bit interested in social media or it’s value to our libraries. Our first three meetings were were dominated by staff objections to using social media. After six hours of discussion, I had to ban further discussion from the agenda, since we were the Implementation Team and that questions about why we were using social media had been thoroughly discussed and noted. Over time, we were able to overcome the initial negativity and get some work done. The committee developed project plans for each committee and branch, assisted in bringing MCFL under compliance of the County of Marin’s newly developed social media policy and procedure, developed the All-Staff Day presentation on social media and completed a statistical review of CA libraries with similar service populations and their social media usage. However, training the trainer wasn’t working and overwhelming, committee members felt that social media wasn’t their job. Maybe it was important and valuable, but someone else should do it. Instead, I relied on interns to develop training materials. Eventually, we started working together as a group and got some work done, but the continuing viewpoint of the majority was that the work related to implementation was the work of Electronic Services and not the committee.
  • JM: The Process: The TimelineFor a project of this magnitude, it was essential to track and stay on top of the various tasks and deadlines involved with the redesign, including selecting our vendor. We received quite a few bids for the project. One tip that we’d like to share: make sure that when you ask potential vendors for examples of websites, that you specify you’d like to see sites that were created for budgets in the same ballpark as your own. Make sure you have some technical support that can answer questions/verify concerns about server capacity required to host your site. We experienced slow-downs and crashes because of our server issues that might have been avoided. It became even more difficult when we attempted to add our Intranet project to the mix. Creating our own spreadsheets were an invaluable aid to the online dashboard we had available from the vendor. We had to make sure we kept up with the information required to proceed, and whose responsibility it was to provide which deliverable. Tip: it is really important to keep your own spreadsheet/notes on outstanding items that the devleloper is working on, so that things don’t slip through the cracks. If the library missed a deadline to give feedback on a decision, this delayed the whole process. This proved challenging, as some of the turn-around times required by the vendor made it difficult to get responses from staff. We have many staff members who only work part-time, and so were not always available to weigh in on a decision. Keep positive!
  • JM: The Process: WireframesOne of the major tasks early in the process was transmuting our website layout into wireframes, or “page schematic, or screen blueprint.” Every single page had to be “mocked up” with placeholders to signify the function of each area on the webpage, e.g. search box, carousel, blog feed, calendar feed, etc. Every link, every bit of navigation, had to be included. The page layout includes interface elements and navigational systems, and how they work together. Of course, this is just a lay-out of the structure of the site, and did not have design components—it focuses on what a page does, not what it looks like. Unfortunately, some staff felt disappointed when the actual web pages did not always exactly match the size relationships depicted in the wireframes. For example, some of the boxes became more rectangular when filled with content.Note: you’ll notice that our wireframes are quite detailed. Generally, wireframes are not made to that level of detail. However, in our case with such a fast-tracked process, our wireframes ended up serving double duty in developing and communicating many aspects of the site. The level of detail ended up becoming an essential tool in communicating our expectations both with the developers and with staff, and it was a document that we referred to constantly throughout the process.One tip– it was not immediately clear to us that library staff were responsible for actually creating the wireframes. Communicate with your vendor about tasks and get information in writing– this makes it easier for everyone to be on the same page. Keep your contract on hand and refer to it.
  • JM: The Process: WireframesIt was critical to have the staff involved in working on the mock-ups be intimately familiar with the components destined for each page. This means having the information about which items are buttons/links, text/links, image/links, what pages fit where in the hierarchy, etc. It ended up being a rather small number of people who had to crank out tons of pages, which represented a significant amount of time. We used GoMockingbird, which worked fine, though it did start to crash as our load of pages increased. Since we were all relative newbies to the design process, the underlying dynamic of the web design process utilizing wireframes was not well-understood by us at first. “The website wireframe connects the underlying conceptual structure, or information architecture, to the surface, or visual design of the website.” Garrett, Jesse James (2010). The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond. New Riders. ISBN 978-0-321-68865-1. Wireframing allows you to prototype the site and show the practicality of a design concept. Working with wireframes may be a collaborative effort since it bridges the information architecture to the visual design. Due to overlaps in these professional roles, conflicts may occur, making wireframing a controversial part of the design process.Wodtke, Christina; Govella, Austin (2009). Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web, Second Edition. New Riders. ISBN 978-0-321-59199-9.Since wireframes signify a “bare bones” aesthetic, it is difficult for designers to assess how closely the wireframe needs to depict actual screen layouts. Brown, Dan M. (2011). Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning, Second Edition. New Riders. ISBN 978-0-13-138539-9.Another difficulty with wireframes is that they don’t effectively display interactive details. Modern UI design incorporates various devices such as expanding panels, hover effects, and carousels that pose a challenge for 2-D diagrams. Brown, Dan M. (2011). Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning, Second Edition. New Riders. ISBN 978-0-13-138539-9.
  • JM: The Process: WireframesOne of the elements of wireframes is interface design. We developed “user profiles” to help us design our pages and to anticipate how they would be used. We wanted to facilitate usability by the public, and this helped drive our choice of buttons, drop-down menus, etc. Garrett, Jesse James (2010). The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond. New Riders. ISBN 978-0-321-68865-1. Another element is navigation design. Wireframes are also the way to look at the screen elements that allow users to move through the website. How do you see where you are? We had bread crumbs listed below our top nav tabs, but also a side navigation bar for the sub-pages in a section. Garrett, Jesse James (2010). The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond. New Riders. ISBN 978-0-321-68865-1. And, of course, information design is the base for the entire website. How information is presented and placed and prioritized is how graphic design principles allow you to effectively display the information for clear communication. The focus should be on the goals and tasks of the user—this should determine how the elements are arranged. Garrett, Jesse James (2010). The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond. New Riders. ISBN 978-0-321-68865-1.We continued to grapple with the intertwining of these three elements.
  • JM: The Process: The SpreadsheetThe mother of all spreadsheets was a tool that many of us had decorating our workspaces. Every single section of the website was listed, with a column for each page, piece of content, type of content, and what was needed, as well as who was responsible, and the deadline. We were fortunate to have a staff member, Anna Jonsson, who kept track of the spreadsheet and recorded questions and concerns.
  • JM: The Process: ProofreadingAs content was created, we submitted it to a group of proofreaders. There was a schedule for when our basic content for the website was due, and who was responsible for each section. Our pool of proofreaders vetted content for accuracy. We had to sort through all the existing content on the site and decide what to keep, what to re-write, what to wait on for later, what to drop, and what new content was needed.
  • JM: The Process: Google Docs (now Drive)As our system is spread across Marin County in 10 branches, we had to come up with a way to allow easy access to information and documents for many staff in different places. We needed staff to be able to upload and download documents, whenever and wherever they might be working.To expedite this process, we utilized a Google Drive account. We created folders for each section of the website, as well as allowing staff to create their own folders. We created a standardized formula for naming files which included the section, type of content, etc. This allowed us to keep track of files much more easily.We used Google Drive for everything from uploading staff photos to cheat sheets/instructions.
  • SB: The Results So here we see the final product! We have our colorful new logo located in this corner, with the coordinating colors carried throughout the site. We have dynamic and interactive carousels such as this one on many of the pages. We use photos we've taken and purchased some high quality stock images to keep the appearance or the site lively. Our new tabs use common language to break the site into clear sections in the hope that visitors will easily locate what they're looking for. We have a slideshow of our system-wide promotions in the top right here.
  • SB: The Results We wanted to be sure our site was built for people who use the internet. We kept web-standard formatting in mind during our design process. We included commonly accepted contents in ourfooter like Contact Us,Quick links, a site map, and a link to the county website. We've got all of our social media outlets available here as well.
  • SB: The Results Here's our Outreach page, which falls under this Using the Library tab here. One of the challenges in building a site that is content heavy is making all of the most-sought information easy to find. Our attempts to follow web standards led us to include breadcrumbs in our top navigation, situating the Library account login and About Us in the top right corner, and enabling font-size options.Going with web conventions, our left navigation here, and on all other pages, provides links that might be of interest to someone looking at this specific page. On other pages you might see calendar items, links to our flickr album, and promotions. Also notice the Catalog and Site Search fields up here for easy directed searching.
  • SB: The Results Since we are a library, we wanted to be sure we had a special place to showcase our collection. We wanted our Books Movies and More page to be dynamic and eye catching. These carousels are attractive and frequently updated. Relevant posts from our blogs are displayed here. We also have a bright shiny button here that brings patrons to our request form so they can suggest materials for purchase.
  • SB: The Results Our Events and Programs tab showcases our Trumba Calendar. The calendar is filtered by controls in the left navigation. Staff (now from our new intranet!) are able to post events with photos or images.
  • SB: The Results All of the branches have a page listed under the Locations tab. Hours and contact information are displayed, as well as a Google map link, histories, branch blogs, events, and branch specific services.
  • SB: The Results Our children's page is now colorful, cohesive, and welcoming. Staff update the carousel with best sellers and new acquisitions, relevant staff blog posts are displayed, and upcoming events are featured.
  • SB: The Results The Children’s page has a few notable sub-pages as well. Here you see the homework help page. Books and More for Kids hosts Read Alike booklists and lists of award winners; Parents and Teachers has relevant resources.
  • SB: Here is our teen page.  Reaction to the finished teen page's appearance was surprisingly negative. Though a color scheme had been selected by teen committee in a design brief early in the redesign process, the actual art development for childrens' and teens was included in the RFP. The finished product here was very unpopular.  Marin Teens Create is an example of a great idea that just didn't take off and which will be changed.  Though interest was initially high,  legitimate participation was poor due the due to the difficulty or getting parent permission (i.e. paperwork.)  So for this page we will be going back to the drawing board a bit.
  • SB: The Results In our bottom navigation patrons will find a link to all of our social media resources in one place.  All of our blogs and social media outletsare visible here. You Tube is below Flickr.
  • AJF: Intranet: Staff has been struggling to develop a repository for procedures, news updates, copies of commonly used forms and general bits of advice and tricks of the trade. A wiki was created for this purpose in 2009, but at the time, the technological divide among staff was too broad and many were either daunted or discouraged by the tool.
  • AJF: The Intranet: With the prospect of a new website, it seemed that the time was right to try something new, an Intranet to support communication between and within branches, and to service as a one-step resource for and all staff-related information. The intranet mimics the look of the public site. The Intranet’s homepage will display entries from an internal blog about upcoming product support, trainings, institutional changes and so forth, much of what is currently handled by emails being sent around and duplicated. The site is searchable.
  • AJF: The Intranet: Here’s the preview of the homepage footer, which contains links to Book Review Resources, such as Library Journal, Professional Resources such as ALA, other resources such as the OverDrive blog, fund reports and OWA.
  • AJF: Intranet: The Intranet has branch pages intended for use by staff and subs, who are always more difficult to disseminate information to. These branch pages will contain branch-specific procedures, emergency numbers; etc.
  • AJF: The Intranet: Our new Intranet is now home to the entire organization policies and procedures, technical support, documentation and meeting minutes.
  • AJF: The Intranet: All staff will receive a login. A read-only account will exist for shared computers (and use at ref, children's, circ and check-in computers). The My Marin and the P&P will be disabled once content migration is complete, so it is essential that we all use the new site moving forward.
  • JM: Successes and Failure: Managing ExpectationsYou can’t always get what you want….. Staff were unhappy with our old site, especially with the process for adding new content, and the “locked down” aspect, and how their submissions were managed. That led, in part, to our decision to have a much more distributed system for content creation and maintenance of the site. However, sometimes the pendulum swings too far the other way-- you overcompensate. One of the things that became apparent was that everyone has an opinion, but that not everyone has something substantive to say. So how to keep everyone enthused throughout the long haul of redesign? How do you get buy-in? Acknowledge everyone’s input, and respond with how it fits into the plan. Not all ideas can be included, and not all suggestions fit with the plan. . Budget constraints determine what can be accomplished. You’ll have to constantly remind staff that as part of managing expectations, so they really understand the reasons why things can’t always be the way they want them. Don’t ignore feedback/questions. Recognize that getting staff buy-in and input is a very fine line between staff wanting to have autonomy vs. wanting to receive direction. “Tell me what to do, tell me what to do… don’t tell me what to do!” (Push-me, Pull-you)Critical: communicate often, give progress reports. This takes energy, but is worth it. Just because you understand what you’re saying, doesn’t mean everybody else does. What’s clear as crystal to you is probably clear as mud to other folks who haven’t been in your position. Remember, you have to take everyone along for the ride, or at least show them how you got there and where you’re going. Yes, you are the human GPS for your project. And the one who has to make it all make sense. Communicate the idea, not the jargon. And treats don’t hurt!Focus on what the main goals are: increased usability, increased access for staff to contribute, interactivity/social media, staying relevant with online community. Communicate these goals and how the “big picture” is what is important. Not all details can be handled at once-- incoming questions, concerns will be prioritized for practicality, but it doesn’t mean you’re not listening. Also, budget constraints will limit what you’ll get– designers, etc.Incremental steps to get to your goal. Discrete tasks for staff to accomplish.Make a training plan. No staff/time/resources for training? Time to find some interns. Time to check with administration and see if you can get help with staffing. Figure out how to share critical information with early adopters and have them become your trainers. Create simple documentation to support the basic functions you want staff to complete, so they experience early success, not early distress. First impressions are important. And give them a reason when you’re training-- hands-on, of course. You want to include your favorite booklist on the site? Here’s how you can add it!. (Vendor documents may be too technical to be of much use to most staff.) Know the difference between training and learning. Provide support for training in different venues. Consider videos if you have long distances to travel. This may seem like a no-brainer, but thank people for their contributions and their bravery. Remain positive in the face of obstacles. Figure out how to reframe issues so the perspective is one of moving forward with the best possible approach.
  • Brian’s example, turn negativity into a positive.
  • SB: Successes and Failure: Try to communicate with a clear vocabulary so staff know when to panic.  Is the server down? Critical.  Is a link broken?  Not critical.  Promos up? not critical.
  • AJF: Successes and Failures: Do yourself a favor, only worry about what you can control. Blog profiles? I only cared about getting a picture, if they wanted to hide behind a book, so be it. Also, you don’t have to understand how the technology works, just how to create content (Nicole’s example).
  • SB: Successes and Failures: After the restrictive nature of our old site, it was important to us to have flexibility and creative options. Drupal uses open source, so the answers to your questions are out there. It uses WYSIWYG for content creation, so knowledge of HTML is not required to contribute to the site. It allows for unlimited logins, so everyone who needs one has an account. Content is distributed – enter once and things like blogs events can appear in multiple places. With experience, grander visions can be achieved as well as the easy maintenece of the basics.  That said, someone with Drupal experience is really handy to have. 
  • SB: Successes and Failures: Spend some money in places where it really makes a difference. Put a maintenance contract in your CMS for problems and questions that arise after delivery. Splurge on Photoshop – it’s sooo much easier than GIMP. If you do wireframing, pay for the Go Mockingbird Pro. For social media, get Flickr Pro and a Hootsuit account. The little things you think you can work around to save money up front wind up taking so much more time and effort than you realize.
  • SB: Successes and Failures - Drupal documentation from the site designer was provided, but was often too high-level or general for someone not immersed in web design to digest. Several people on the core web steering committee drafted how-tos with images and step by step instructions for the most common tasks, but they were written for one action at a time, and not easily retrievable by all. The challenge was to describe everything that any page editor or site administrator might want to do, now or in the future, and keep it in one central location. Over time we combined the diffuse how-tos with the applicable documentation from the vendor to build a master document, fleshing out with instructions for each of the features,screenshots, and examples. This 75 page document has a table of contents, an index, is text searchable, and will be located on our intranet.In retrospect, we would have established a central collection of how-tos and other useful documentation while the development group was small, savvy, and communicating regularly with one another. Asking this early adopter group to keep quick notes on the tasks they are performing as they migrate might be helpful early on and further down the road as more people become involved.
  • AJF: Successes and Failure: Whenever you can, have fun, enjoy interacting with your community, bring food, bring toys, bring jokes.
  • AJF: Successes and Failures: We strive to say yes whenever possible and use the following criteria for suggestions: is it technically feasible, can we maintain it and can we afford it?
  • AJF: Success and Failures: Failure is OK; expect it. Even though staff may expect and demand perfection.
  • AJF: AJF: I try and check the sites daily for updates. I email BMs and Supervisors when someone is doing a great job. I personally email or call staff when they do something great. I have maintained rewards drawers. Snacks at meetings.
  • JM: What’s next?After launching the site in Nov. of 2011, we continue to work on how to maintain and nurture the site. Amanda set up staff and user surveys approximately 6 months after launch so we could get feedback. Overwhelmingly positive, we did get some comments that will allow us to focus on retooling a few sections and pages to make the site simpler to use and (we hope) more effective in engaging our public.Focus more attention on the quality of our social media, and having staff continue to create content for it, and engage our public through it. “If you don’t live it, you won’t use it” -- empower staff to communicate more through social media.Continue to track usage of the site with Google Analytics so we can use data to help make decisions about the site. What are people looking at? What do they use? Make these high-demand features really easy to access. Work on making the library site a vital community site, both physically and online-- connect to the Patch. Local bloggers, etc? Consider a workshop on the opportunities for the branch pages to connect to local communities.Figure out how to maintain the site and improve it, incorporating new features, like Dear Reader. Take a look at the Research & Learning page. (Maybe consider including something like LibGuides.) Work on upgrading our download interface page to make it a major focus of the site.Keep abreast of changes in library styles, web developments, etc. Pinterest.Come up with a way for staff to track needed updates to policies, etc. on the site.Look at cool features, like a “just returned” feed.Figure out a coordinated way to use the site to communicate alerts about library issues. (Emergencies, closures, etc.) ?Designate system level contact(s) to handle immediate updates, like closures due to power outages, when on-site staff can’t do it themselves.Without a PR department, figure out how to cover the system news that needs to be communicated, like a roll-out of a new service. We need to continue to work with our library administration to make sure website updates are included as part of the planning and procedure for rolling out any new services or any changes to policy. Dedicated bloggers? Go-to staff? Basically, plan strategically for maintaining the site. Reach out to our community with this online connectionCreate a team to oversee the more technical aspects of the site, the “back-end”.Work on “continuing ed” for the website, e.g. Remember that training you got on how to upload Flickr images? Time for a refresher.Start planning for an optimized mobile site/pruning content.
  • AJF: Obligatory cat photo
  • Thank you!
  • From Mess to Success

    1. 1. FROM MESS TO SUCCESSTips on Redesigning Websites November 3, 2012 California Library Association, San Jose, California Amanda Foust afoust@marincounty.org Julie Magnus jmagnus@marincounty.org Sarah Butts sbutts@marincounty.org Marin County Free Library
    2. 2. MARIN COUNTY FREE LIBRARY
    3. 3. WEBSITE 2010
    4. 4. BRAND 2000-2012
    5. 5. BLOG 2010
    6. 6. SOCIAL MEDIA: THE JOURNEY http://lonewolflibrarian.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/social-media-explained-07-02-12/
    7. 7. MCFL SOCIAL MEDIA OVERVIEW County of Marin Measurement for Results (MFR) FY 10-11 Develop a social media strategy that effectively promotes library programs and services with an emphasis on their value to our communities. Reach out to people where they already are getting their information. All staff are encouraged to participate 1-2 hours per month/30 minutes per week PER BRANCH MANAGER’S DISCRETION The Big Five: o Blogs o Facebook o Flickr o Twitter o YouTube
    8. 8. SOCIAL MEDIA CHEAT SHEETSFOR STAFF
    9. 9. PHOTO GUIDELINES
    10. 10. CHEAT SHEETS
    11. 11. TOOL KITS
    12. 12. INTRANET: POLICIES AND PROCEDURES http://theantisocialmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Darth-Vader-The-Anti-Social- Media.png
    13. 13. WEBSITE TIMELINE (1 OF 5 PAGES)
    14. 14. TIPS During vendor selection, ask for examples of websites created with budgets approximate to your project Technical support available to answer questions/verify concerns about needed server capacity Create your own spreadsheets/notes on outstanding items and tasks
    15. 15. WIREFRAMES: HOMEPAGE
    16. 16. TIPS Confirm who is actually creating the wireframes for your project– you or the developer Keep your contract on hand at all times and refer to it
    17. 17. WIREFRAMES: ALL THINGS SOCIAL MEDIA
    18. 18. WIREFRAME: BRANCH PAGE
    19. 19. THE SPREADSHEET
    20. 20. PROOFREADING
    21. 21. USE GOOGLE DRIVE
    22. 22. INTRANET: PREVIOUS
    23. 23. INTRANET: HOMEPAGE
    24. 24. INTRANET: HOMEPAGE; FOOTER
    25. 25. INTRANET: BRANCH PAGES
    26. 26. INTRANET: POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
    27. 27. INTRANET: POLICIES AND PROCEDURES1. Learn to Log on every day and read the system and branch blogs2. Learn to Post to your branch blog (and then the system)3. Assist Your Colleagues until everyone is comfortableLaunch Date: Tuesday, 11/6
    28. 28. MANAGING EXPECTATIONS“All truth passes through three stages. First, it isridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it isaccepted as self-evident.”Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher, 1788-1860 Take everyone along for the ride…
    29. 29. TRANSITION Staff unhappy with old site  Site was locked down  Adding new content was difficult New site design  Open for all to create content  Distributed maintenance instead of centralized Challenge: pendulum swung too far  Everyone has an opinion  Not all opinions have substance or are useful
    30. 30. BUY-IN Acknowledge everyone’s input & respond with how it fits into the plan  Not all ideas can be included  Not all suggestions fit in with the plan  Don’t ignore feedback or questions Explain budget constraints Tension between staff wanting to have autonomy and need for direction
    31. 31. TIPS Communicate often, give progress reports Focus on main goals:  Increased usability  Increased access for staff to contribute  Increased interactivity/social media  Staying relevant to the community Communicate the big picture Incremental steps & discrete tasks for staff
    32. 32. TIPS Training plan:  If no resources, try interns  Ask Administration for staffing  Share info with early adopters (they can become your trainers) Create simple documentation Early success, not early distress Need specific goal when training Thank people for their contributions and bravery
    33. 33. STAY POSITIVE Office Space
    34. 34. CRITICAL VS. NON-CRITICAL
    35. 35. CRITICAL VS. NON-CRITICAL
    36. 36. WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT DRUPAL
    37. 37. USE QUALITY TOOLS
    38. 38. DOCUMENTATION
    39. 39. HAVE FUN! Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
    40. 40. SAY YES http://www.meloveletters.com/self-love-is/self-love-say-yes-to-yourself/
    41. 41. EXPECT FAILURE Looney Tunes
    42. 42. THANK PROFUSELY
    43. 43. WHAT’S NEXT?Reflect, thenBoldlyGo….
    44. 44. TIPS Conduct surveys Track usage of site with Google Analytics  What are people looking at?  What do they use?  Make high-demand features easy to access Connect with community sites Add new features (e.g. Dear Reader) Keep abreast of developments (e.g. Pinterest)
    45. 45. QUESTIONS?
    46. 46. How to get in touch with us at MCFLAmanda Foust, Julie Magnus, Sarah Butts,Electronic Services Librarian Head of Reference Library Assistant Iafoust@marincounty.org jmagnus@marincounty.org sbutts@marincounty.org(415) 473-7451 (415) 924-6444 (415) 924-6444

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