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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech - Building a Clean, User-Friendly Library Website


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NCompass Live - August 14, 2019

New special monthly episodes of NCompass Live! Join the NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, Amanda Sweet, as she guides us through the world of library-related Pretty Sweet Tech.

Websites are often the first thing people see when interacting with a business. With so many things vying for people’s attention, the library website should be a call to action for people to use library services.

This session will act as a guide to building a library website that makes a good impression on library customers. We will cover the following topics:
•Clean website design
•User-friendly design
•Providing the right information
•Navigation Menu Structure
•Reasons to click
•Keeping your website fresh
•Nebraska Libraries on the Web
This session will be more focused on WordPress since that is easier to set up and maintain. Absolutely no coding is necessary!

Published in: Education
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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech - Building a Clean, User-Friendly Library Website

  1. 1. Building a User-Friendly Library Website NebraskaLibraryCommission Presenter: Amanda Sweet (402) 471-3106 Why We Need Clean Web Design  Your website maybe a user’sfirstandonlyintroductiontothe library.  Libraries are competingwithan overwhelmingnumberof other websites forattention.  Websitesare a greatway to letyourcommunityknow whypeople needthe library. Clean Website Design  Responsive layout forthree screensizes (mobile,tablet,anddesktop)  Blockedoff intoclearlydefined,readablesections  Clear,pleasingcolorscheme  Uses termsandphrasesusers understand  Icon use andlabelsare understandableformostusers  Considerthe age rangesof your users  Avoidlarge blocksof text.Breakthemupwithimagesor intosmallersections. Standard Website Layout Review: Websitesare generallylaidoutwiththe following layoutelements: Header: Image at the top of the page that grabs attentionandisrelevanttoyourlibrary’smission. NavigationMenu: Containsorganizedlinkstoyourwebsite’spages. Main Content:These sectionsmake upthe maincontentof your website’spages. Sidebars/ Asides:Include hours/location,events,andhighlights Footer: Containsyourlibrary’scontactinformation,departments,and/orservices Noteverywebsite hasorneedseverysingle element.Findoutwhatworksforyou. Checkout W3 Schoolsfora diagramand more thoroughexplanation. Examples of Clean Design: Reviewthese examplesandthinkabouthow to bestshow off yourlibrary’scontent.Considerthis:  Single-image homepagesemphasize asingle topic,how manylibraryservicescanithighlight?  How longdoyou lookat a scrollingimage menubefore scrollingdown?Doyouscroll down?  Do usersknowfromyour homepage whatit isyoudo? People rarelydigforinformation.  Is yournavigationmenuclearlylaidout? User-Friendly Design: Considerthe userof the website while you’re designingandchoosingwhatkindof contenttofeature. The InteractionDesignFoundation isagreatresource forbuildingpeople-centeredwebsites.Here are some tipsfromexperience helpinglibraries designandsetupWordPresswebsites:  Showyour viewerswhatlibrariescanreallydo.
  2. 2. Building a User-Friendly Library Website NebraskaLibraryCommission Presenter: Amanda Sweet (402) 471-3106  Don’thide yourlibraryservices.Tryto gatherfeedbackthroughyoursite aboutwhatpeople wantto see at your library.  Feature bothdigital andphysical resourcesonyourwebsite.  Tell people what’sgoingon.Make sure youreventscalendaris upfrontand center.  Use labels,titlesandicons thatare clearlyunderstandabletousers Most importantly,make sure togatheruserfeedbackasyou’re designingandrefiningyourwebsite.You won’tknowuntil youtry!EvenAmazon,Apple andGoogle startedwithnotso perfectwebsites. Color Schemes: Website ColorSchemes:Chooseacolorscheme thatis complementary,yetstillmesheswithyour library’sbranding. These colorschemesare agreat place to gatherinspirationormix andmatch. Coolers:Thiscolorpalette generatoriseasyand includesatutorial. Click“Startthe Generator,it’sfree” WebAIMColorContrast Checker: Thistool will helpmake sure yourfontisreadable againstthe chosen background.A heavycontrast will alsohelppeople withlowerresolutionmonitorsview yourwebsite. Providing the Right Information: Planwhatyou wantto have included,andwhatyouwantto feature:  Hours and Location  Contact Information  Online Catalog  Featured/ New Books  Library Services  Library/ Community Resource Links  Policy Information  Events Calendar  Library Blog!  Consult Your Imagination Things to Prioritize:  Builda cleannavigationmenu.The DailyEgghassome tipsand examples.  Emphasize servicesandconsiderusingacalendarlistformobile-friendlyviewing.  Put hours,location,andcontactinfointhe sidebarandfooter.Adda page with a Contact form.  Refreshyourlibraryblogweekly. Here’ssome inspiration! Accessibility Nebraska Libraries on the Web