Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How Do We Say What We Want To Say?

Communication makes the world go 'round, not love as some famous song of yesteryear leads us to believe...... We have rather heated debates here in the office about terminology. For instance, we use the term "online catalog" as one of the search choices - what does this mean to you? We hope it means you are searching our online catalog of all library materials. So here we are in the midsts of website redesign and we have the opportunity to use terminology which is meaningful and which communicates so very clearly that you will know what everything means.....we hope.

A couple more examples to provide and get your input on: "research" - what would you expect to find when you click on this word? Would you even click on it? Ever? What about "programs & events" - what does this mean to you? Would other words make more sense than these 2 words?

These are challenging conversations we hold as we strive toward improvement. Are there other terms on our current site that drive you crazy; that should be changed?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Website Progress Report

1. Timeline is in process of being developed under the capable hands of aHa Consulting who is taking the lead. This blogger tips her hat in thanks for not having to relearn Microsoft Project.

Once the timeline is more fixed, we will be asking you of your interest in being part of a focus group to take a look at what we've conceived so far. If you're interested now in putting your name in the hat, email focusgroups@ald.lib.co.us with your contact information!

2. Back end work has to do with the technical right now. Developing our site map - that blueprint of what content will be on the new site. Besides what you've been reading about (e.g. the collection presenting visually) other content includes the Arapahoe Library District policies and procedures and a lot of what you see in the "About Us" tab right now.

3. Work on the Drupal end with John.

Happy Monday and start of fall!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A book is more than its cover

It's funny how we sometimes remember a book by its cover. In one of the libraries where I used to work, we produced and sold books. Our member base was throughout the United States so we would get calls from one coast to another. They would say, "oh it's the red book that I want to buy" or "you know, that bright yellow one...." Sure enough we, too, would know the book by more than just the title or even the content.

With websites, its more than just the "cover" or the thing you see on your screen as you find the titles you want to put on hold or want to browse for something good to read/listen to/watch.

As you've followed this blog, you know that our redesign is more than just the cover, it's the back end functionality that is being tossed like a proverbial salad (can salads be proverbial?) and reworked. Now, the "why" of this may not enter your mind but in ours it's evident that in order to gain better functionality and efficiency on our end, we need to create what is known as a content management system or CMS. I may have even used the word Drupal - which is an open source CMS and the one of our choosing.

To whet your appetite or to confuse the issue even more, this week's blog invites you to visit some Drupal-based websites. Take a look at some of these just to get a feel for how they look, what they present and then let me know what you like and dislike about them!

After all, we're gonna be more than just a pretty face.........

Fit for a princess
Earth day network
The exhibit
Spread firefox
Ann Arbor Public Library

Monday, September 8, 2008

Announcing Our Vendor Partnerships!

We are most pleased to let you know that we are contracting with two most excellent firms to help us with the website redesign! One firm is local, Zenman Productions, residing near Coors Field. They will be instrumental in the design work of the new website. As you can see from their website, they have quite the artistic flair. Two images of designs they mocked up for us are shown above. Or if you'd like to view them full screen, they are presented here as Mock Up 1 Design and Mock Up 2 Design. Please note that these are only mockups and not the "real deal" - but they give a sense of where we're headed - what do you think?

The second firm we are working with is aHa Consulting from Lake Oswego, Oregon. They bring their expertise in back end content management systems ~ namely a system called Drupal. While Zenman will provide the look that you will interact with, it is aHa together with our talented webmaster, John, who will make sure the site is not just functional but interactive and gets you to where you want to go!

The third part of this puzzle is our internet librarians, Christine, Jill and Alyson, who will be all about content and the flow of content to ensure that the library materials (books, movies, music, programs) are front and center!