Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Finding and Findability

While this blog could be considered a play on words, please consider it a plea for just that...how do you find and what is considered findable in your vocabulary?

For instance, when I visit a website that I haven't used before I usually am skimming the page to find the content that seems relevant and on target. It's like playing the game of "hot" and "cold" where you're supposed to find an object with your eyes closed and your only clues are "hot" when you're getting close......When I don't find the content I'm looking for ("cold") then my next task is to find the search box so the search function can help me find what I'm seeking. No search box? Bad news - I'm usually leaving the site!

As we continue to develop our webpages, one of the things we will be configuring is the subpage Books. A rather important page in the scheme of things, we want to place side navigation on this page populated with reading categories. So are there categories or types of books that are must-haves for you? Want a clickable "mystery" or "romance" option? Don't care? How would you want to find the latest James Patterson, the latest Hillerman? Not only does it apply to adult literature, but we could also think about teen literature and childrens literature, too. Have any opinions? Post 'em here!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Where in the world?

It's probably the nerdiest thing in the world to admit that I loved the Where's Waldo books......I could spend hours searching for Waldo in all the different scenarios and pages in which he was drawn. Granted, this was BC (before children) when there was time and effort that could be expended in all sorts of nonproductive ways.........

Today, my "where in the world" asks the question of how do you know where you are when you visit a website and spend some time shopping/browsing? In the real world, you enter the front door and then choose the area you want to shop in. Along the way you might see a display of shoes which sidetracks you from your original search of towels but then you have the store directory or personal knowledge in which to guide you along the way.

In the virtual world, there is no such store directory which orients you to "you are here." Some websites provide a list of links so you can trace your steps backwards. Others may present in different ways through tabs or other directional devices. So the questions of the day are these:

  • *do you need to know where you are on any given web page in a web site?
  • *if so, how do you like to know?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Interested in voicing your opinion?

Our developers have us on task to finalize the home page content as well as look at some of the key subpages so that work can begin on actual design and function. Can you believe that we're already this far? Or, as the designers might ask, isn't it a chore to get these guys moving?

One of the things you will soon see on the website is a call to participate in a focus group. The first will be held the end of the month with two more scheduled the first week of November. We will take this opportunity to show the home page as it's been envisioned so far and ask for your input. If you are interested in participating, you can email focusgroups@ald.lib.co.us to sign up. I hope you will consider this as an opportunity for input. If you can't make any of the dates, then this blog is the place to voice your opinions and thoughts.

Monday, October 6, 2008

As the foliage changes, so do we

My initial headline was more like "as the leaves fall, so do we" but the context did not seem to make as much sense and seems rather morbid so let me know what you think about the "foliage" metaphor......... Fall has always been a melancholy time for this blogger, because it means the warm weather has moved south...and I haven't. I confess to loving it warm, never having to deal with winter coats and snow boots. In the context of the website design (and trying to get to my seasons metaphor here), we've affirmatively chosen red as the new website color. As you saw from a few blog posts ago, a red home page mockup was posted and it will look much like that.

Work continues with our excellent vendors who are keeping us on task with lots to think about and consider as we make changes. What will this do? Where will that go? How many clicks to get from here to there? What happens when you land on this page? More than just deciding on the website color, it's about providing the best experience possible for you. We're not going to take the existing site and give you the same clicks to the content you now see on the site. As the leaves change, we are thinking hard about getting you the best in functionality.

Are there websites you just love because they get you to where you wanna be? Are there websites you hate because you didn't get to your destination in any logical way? This blogger would love to know. Happy raking!