CIL2010: Website Redesign: A Public Library Website Redesign: (aka The Trip to Hades & Back)
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CIL2010: Website Redesign: A Public Library Website Redesign: (aka The Trip to Hades & Back)

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These are the slides from my website design presentation at Computers in Libraries 2010. I spoke about our library’s website redesign, which is still in process, and my recommendations and best ...

These are the slides from my website design presentation at Computers in Libraries 2010. I spoke about our library’s website redesign, which is still in process, and my recommendations and best practices for people managing or taking part in a website redesign process.

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CIL2010: Website Redesign: A Public Library Website Redesign: (aka The Trip to Hades & Back) CIL2010: Website Redesign: A Public Library Website Redesign: (aka The Trip to Hades & Back) Presentation Transcript

  • a public library website redesign website redesign
    • Sarah Houghton-Jan
    • Digital Futures Manager, San Jose Public Library
    • Author, LibrarianInBlack.net
  • our current website
  • problems we’re solving
    • 1 website for 2 libraries
    • public library users felt ripped off
    • 7 year-old design, content, and CMS
    • webmaster as gatekeeper = disconnected staff
    • ADA requirements cumbersome in existing environment
  • problems we encountered while solving those
    • unrealistic admin expectations
    • 1 year long RFP & contract process
    • incompetent graphic designers
    • 6 months of lost time due to
    • lost momentum
    • merged web team working on 3 websites
  • lessons learned
  • redesign planning
    • stakeholders identify org. goals
    • techies, designers, and information architects identify how to meet them
    • identify your givens
    • use planning software (BaseCamp, dotproject)
    • double the estimated timeline
  • staff & customer involvement
    • initial satisfaction surveys for both
    • card-sorting testing for customers early on
    • staff focus groups
    • mock-up task testing for customers
    • transparency to staff and customers
  • usability
    • identify who you are serving
    • focus on the few things you do well
    • tell stories of what your users want
    • look for friction points
    • who is the site for again?
  • accessibility
    • start simple
    • Basic tools: JAWS, WAVE, browser emulators, OS emulators
    • Firefox tools: Firesizer, Firefox Accessibility Extension, HTML Validator, Web Developer Extension, WCAG Contrast Checker
  • communication
    • blogs for staff & customers with email & RSS updates
    • ask for customer & staff input (+ use it)
    • recruit usability testing participants from among “the angry folk”
  • project management
    • set deadlines for everything
    • hold people accountable
    • one person should be in charge of tracking
    • give periodic updates to staff/managers
    • spend the most time on IA and design
    • keep things moving no matter what
    • celebrate small victories
  • launch techniques
    • phased-in launch (notices, pre-testing)
    • beta + feedback
    • = 1.0 + feedback
    • = 1.1 + feedback (and so on)
    • provide brief online & printable orientation
        • if it takes >1 page, start over
  • 5 things to avoid
    • try to be fancy when your brain says “no”
    • allow consultants to push you around
    • have more than one project manager
    • stifle creativity
    • re-invent some wheels
  • 5 things you must do
    • show your ego to the door
    • take risks
    • document everything
    • research everything
    • talk to your users continuously
  • one more time...
  • our current website
  • our new website
  • Questions?
    • Sarah Houghton-Jan
    • web: LibrarianInBlack.net
    • Twitter: @TheLiB
    • Facebook: Facebook.com/LibrarianInBlack
    • IM: LibrarianInBlack
    • Skype: LibrarianInBlack
    • email: [email_address]