Content Driving Design

If you’ve joined the #website Slack channel, you may have noticed that last week Tab shared a prototype of a new Library home page including an interim search solution that will be used until we pilot the possible Summon search solution.

We’ve put together a clickable prototype of the redesigned home page and we’d love your feedback. Check it out.

The prototype is hosted at Invision; I put together a 5-minute how-to that you should definitely watch before diving in.

We encourage you to take a look at the prototype, but we also wanted to explain more clearly that the Web Projects Team is not starting with a pre-determined design and just fitting content into it. The content needs are, in fact, driving the design. The look and feel and chosen solutions have been evolving as we talk with all of you — and balance that with our staffing and the available technologies.

Many of you in the library have been involved in department content meetings over the last few months to help us determine requirements and rethink content with user needs in mind. These meetings are fundamental for us to be able to build the best library web presence, but they are taking longer than anticipated with many turning into two or three meetings.

The result is that our goal of a new live site will be pushed out a month or two into the Fall. However, by the end of August, we still plan to have a lot fleshed out on the private beta site, so that staff members can see progress and give feedback.

As the site gets closer to having all content in place and functioning as expected, it will take over as the live However, in those first few months, we will still think of it internally as being in beta. That means that while most of the key content and site architecture will be there, we’ll be especially seeking user feedback and adjusting things aggressively.

After a while, we will cease to think of it as a beta site, but the Web Projects Team will seek user feedback on an ongoing basis to ensure that the site and its supporting technology continue to meet current user needs.