Library Website Redesign
Meeting Notes FDU Library Web Design Team – Kick off Meeting December 15, 2006 In attendance: Dr. Marcum, Mary Marks, Denise O’Shea, Kathy Stein, Maria Webb, Mitch Weiss, Maria Deptula
Dr. Marcum opened the meeting with his vision for the new FDU Library website. He spoke of a “fundamental shift” in information accessibility and usability. Information is no longer a passive, fixed entity, but rather a co-created flow of ideas. Information is dynamic and comes in many formats. His desire is that the FDU Library webpage reflect this shift – being more interactive and satisfying the needs of not only current students, but also new and former students. Dr. Marcum recognized that this may mean that several of us will need to develop new skills in order for this to get done, and he wished us good luck in our endeavor.
The structure of the meeting was an informal discussion of each of the team member’s vision of what our new site (or at least the home page) could look like. Taking a cue from other FDU departments, we discussed the possibility of moving out of the CMS system. The current library home page (library.fdu.edu) is not in CMS – it is just coded to look that way. There was a consensus that while we can be creative with our home page, we also want to retain some elements that will tie the library back to the FDU website. We want to be recognizable as a part of the University website.
Here is a summary of comments/discussions:
Some FDU departments not currently using the CMS system: • OIRT (isweb.fdu.edu) • Various departments of The University College (ucoll.fdu.edu) such as Psychology, Nursing, Criminal Justice, and Computer Science & Engineering
We talked about the use of Flash. While it does create a more interesting page, concerns included whether it is ADA compliant, and about long page-load times. This would need to be reviewed further.
The library website must follow the marketing mission of the University.
Target Audience? • First and foremost – current students. • Faculty & staff • International students (Wroxton and Vancouver) • Prospective students • Each user has different information seeking behaviors and needs, so we have to meet as many of these needs as possible.
What technology do we want to include? • Library blog and wiki (that link to each other) • RSS (to pull news out of the blog) • RSS (to pull new book lists from Voyager) • Search boxes (Google customized) • Translation software • Video/media (“Director’s Welcome”, instructional tutorials) • Text only version of page
What have others done? We looked at several other academic library sites and talked about what we liked on each. The sites included: • www.lib.ncsu.edu (news items linked to their library blog; customized Google Scholar; sitemap, FAQs, access to library account without going into Voyager) • www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/ (lots of white space, great emphasis on resources – quick search box to access most resources easily, use of color to guide users; lots of information hidden behind drop-down menus) • library.monmouth.edu/ (advertising library café) Kathy indicated that we should look at other local universities to see what they are doing. • www.lib.umich.edu (simple search box to Journal Locator or catalog from homepage) • www.wooster.edu/library/ (access to library account from webpage; Google search box)
What do we want? • Less clutter • Use of drop-down menus to “hide” information • More visual impact • Easy access to high-use resources • FAQs • Sitemap • Feedback link (no negative connotations)
Usability Issues • Need to research current usability studies (www.useit.com) • Watch language – no library jargon • What’s “in” for our target audience? • Eye tracking study (“F” pattern) • Need to develop usability study/surveys for our users (possibly an online survey?) • Keep text to a minimum – users don’t read online like they do in print
Our Priorities • Upgrade and launch home page • Leave secondary pages in CMS for now • Get feed back on home page (surveys/usability study) • Upgrade most-used secondary pages after we get feedback on home page
Next Steps • Review the article Maria Webb forwarded regarding redesigning an academic library site (“10 top tips”) – (All) • Review documentation Denise O’Shea forwarded regarding redesigning an academic library site – (All) • Talk to Bill Kennedy about what help he might be able to provide – (Mary) • Identify graphic design resources we have within the library and within FDU – (?) • Transform existing home page content (lists) into drop-down menus – (Mary and Denise) • Research available software (Dreamweaver, Flash, others) – (Denise) • Survey of technical skills of team members and other library staff members – (?) • Sketch a rendering of revised home page and distribute to team for discussion (Mary and Denise)
Next Meeting – January 2007 – date TBA