project news and updates
Check this site frequently for updates about the effort to redesign the Stanford Libraries website and improve our Drupal-based web publishing environment.
Library Website Redesign News
Mon, 07/02/2012 - 11:54
If you haven’t checked out the new Library Website recently, you should definitely visit and have a look around. The new site will become the Stanford Libraries default homepage in early September, in time for the start of Fall Quarter 2012.
The Online Experience Group has been steadily adding content to the site, with additional content added every week.
· The “Using the Library” section of the site has plenty of fresh, user-tested content on topics such as “Borrow, Renew, Return” and “Connecting from Off-Campus”.
All Stanford Libraries staff are encouraged to review the site and send Feedback.
Thu, 06/21/2012 - 09:06
We're ready to start training for creating content on the new website!
You are invited to sign up for the first round of training on Tuesday, June 26; Wednesday, June 27; Monday, July 9; or Tuesday, July 10 all at 1:30 pm. You can sign up through Coursework for one of these hands-on sessions at: https://coursework.stanford.edu/portal/site/LibraryWebsiteTraining. Once you've joined the site, click on the sign up link in the lefthand menu. This training is especially IMPORTANT for all subject specialists.
This initial training will last 60-90 minutes, and will cover two main topics:
And of course, we'll leave plenty of time for Q&A as well!
Prior to the class, please make sure the following information is Public on your Stanford Who listing:
As the summer progresses, the Online Experience Group will be rolling out several additional types of content pages, including topic guides, collections pages, branch sites, and more.
Please note: If you have a guide that needs to be created for a fall class (PWR guides not included) we'd like to hear from you. Please send an email to email@example.com.
Stay tuned for more training topics!
Tue, 06/05/2012 - 10:59
The Web Redesign Team is working hard on the new website, especially the content creation environment and tools. We hope you are working on your web content, too--developing, editing, and refining the content you plan to publish on the new website’s subject guides, branch pages, and project pages.
We recommended some guidelines for Writing for the Web earlier to help you evaluate the clarity of your content’s message. But what about images, videos, or attached documents on your pages? Here are some guidelines to consider as you look at your content.
Guidelines for uploading documents to the library web environment
When moving content to the new website, you will need to follow the same guidelines established for capturing and sharing Everyday Electronic Materials (EEMs):
“In general, capturing and redistributing digital material is understood to be an act of distribution, which is an exclusive right of the copyright owner. Therefore, SULAIR must seek permission from the rights holder, unless the work is in the public domain or explicitly licensed for redistribution."
When in doubt, link to documents instead of uploading them.
Guidelines for uploading images and videos to the library web environment
The EEM’s guidelines apply to images and videos as well. You must receive permission from the rights holder unless the image or video is clearly in the public domain or explicitly licensed for redistribution.
Additionally, images and videos on the Stanford Libraries website must include attribution/credit information. The new content creation environment will include easy ways to include credit information for display, such as the hover text in this example.
If you’d like to include images or videos and Stanford Libraries is the rights holder, contact the appropriate SUL department to request a high-resolution copy and the appropriate text for credit attribution for each image or video.
Remember! When you are creating and editing your website content, make sure you have permissions and credit information for all the documents, images and videos that you plan to include!
Fri, 04/20/2012 - 09:37
Between January and March of this year the web redesign project took a small break in full-time engineering to focus attention on design work, bug fixing, user testing, and analyzing user feedback. The outcomes of this work have been positive, as we've learned a great deal from students, faculty and staff about how they would use the new site and whether or not it will help them successfully complete their most important tasks. Many small and large improvements to librarypreview.stanford.edu have already been made, and continue to be added.
We have also completed initial design work on updated Subject Guide and Branch library templates. Click the thumbnails below to see full-screen versions of these designs.
Starting in April, the web development team and Chapter Three have resumed full-scale development efforts to build out the subject guides and branch templates. They are also investing considerable effort in making the web authoring experience both simple and feature-rich.
Expect more frequent updates here in April, May and June as progress is sure to accelerate.
Thu, 04/12/2012 - 10:12
The Online Experience Group is increasing its focus on enabling content creators to author clear, concise content for the new website. While an exact date is not yet set, technical developments are progressing at a pace that will soon allow content creators to access the site, update existing content and build new pages. In the spirit of laying “fresh eyes” on current content and developing good habits for continual content review and updating, we recommend the following e-resources on writing effective web content. It's never too early to review and revise content intended for the new site.
Ginny Redish’s website also contains good information on writing fo the Web.
The US Government’s Plain Language website may sound like an oxymoron, but it provides guidelines for and examples of good, plain writing for a mass audience.
ALSO: The Online Experience Group is looking for an amateur photographer to join the Image Group. Please contact Mike Nack (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more and to express your interest.
Fri, 01/20/2012 - 15:36
The Online Experience Group has been working hard on a proposed new design for subject guides. Subject guides are envisioned as tools to help users navigate a broad or specific subject area and to identify key SULAIR specialists.
We carefully considered how the website redesign would impact the many and varied subject guides. Based on user studies and subject specialist interviews, the proposed subject guide model is intended to provide maximum flexibility for providing content within a visually consistent, branded framework; and to support maximum ease in content creation, organization, and maintenance. The guide model strives for a simple, intuitive design, with support for media, automatic feeds, and custom design within a standard framework.
1. The student in class: She needs to quickly find credible resources for an assignment, get an overview of a topic, become acquainted with key resources on the topic, familiarize herself with useful terminology, and access the desired item.
2. The novice: Similar to the student in class, the novice needs to get an overview of a topic, familiarize himself with both terminology and seminal works, learn how to find resources independently, learn about relevant student or faculty research projects and related campus resources, and identify the appropriate specialist for help.
3. The advanced learner: She needs to stay current on a topic by monitoring new library acquisitions lists and current journal tables of contents, learn about specialized or unique resources, and be able to identify the subject specialist for more help.
4. The Instructor: He needs to assist students in completing assignments and research projects, and to understand the usefulness of the guide and be able to contribute to its continued value.
5. The Content Creator: She needs to understand the usefulness of the guide, and assist her audience in completing their research or course-related tasks.
6. The World: They need to understand the scope of Stanford’s resources on a specific topic.
The initial response from a sampling of content creators has been very positive; your feedback is continually incorporated in communications with the designers, and is much appreciated! The new subject guide model will be posted very soon for your consideration. Stay tuned!
Wed, 12/07/2011 - 10:41
This is just a friendly reminder that the new SULAIR website preview is available for your viewing pleasure! We have begun receiving valuable comments (email@example.com) which will inform our continued building-out of the site. We encourage the Stanford community to continue sending in requests, comments, complaints, questions, and praise. The feedback link may also be accessed on the preview site. Happy exploring!
Wed, 11/09/2011 - 21:58
The new library website had a table at the Library Open House, at which we did some light-weight testing and previewed a live test site to visitors. It was a big success in that the table received approximately 50 visitors, 21 of which participated in the live test. The breakdown of testers included:
Fri, 10/07/2011 - 14:07
We are excited to share with you a preview of another section of the new library website. We are especially proud of the new look for Hours & Locations, which makes this critical information much more accessible to patrons. Moreover, this redesign leverages Drupal's content management function to provide library staff with a much simpler, more streamlined back-end process for gathering and displaying hours and location information. This redesigned page and workflow represents a massive work effort and is the result of collaboration among the Library Website Redesign Team, members of DLSS, and Chapter 3. The image below is a snapshot of the layout for this page (note, data shown is for display purposes only). As always, we welcome your feedback about this page.
On a related note, as we prepare for the website sneak preview in early November, the Online Experience Group will be contacting many of you soon for your assistance in providing content for various sections of the new site.
Tue, 09/06/2011 - 14:13
The work is divided into month-long "sprints". Sprints are intense work cycles in the Agile software development methodology. During these cycles, stakeholders and developers agree on priority tasks and functionality for each sprint.
Sprint 1 includes:
Behind the scenes, a technical writer has been drafting and editing content needed for the website preview. DLSS developers have been working on integrating search technologies into the website, including a feed from Stanford Who to create "people" pages, and new and improved support for keeping library hours information up to date.
As each sprint is closed, members of the online experience group will lead a review of the work that has been done, to insure it meets requirements.
Fri, 09/02/2011 - 10:20
The Online Experience Group has been busy reaching out to groups all across SULAIR to present exciting information about the website redesign project. In these hour-long visits, we have presented hot-off-the-press glimpses of the look and feel of the new design, sketches of new pages and functions, and the timeline of the work ahead. But most importantly, we have had the opportunity to discuss the redesign progress with interested library staff who have shared important insights, suggestions, and reactions.
In the past month, we have made 8 presentations to staff from over a dozen different units, with still more visits planned soon. If you or your unit would like us to visit you too, please contact us. We are very eager to share updates and hear your feedback!
Tue, 08/16/2011 - 15:16
We have been providing in-person updates to key library staff groups over the last several weeks. We are sharing with everyone the PowerPoint slides we have been using. The slides include a projected timeline for the project, as well as an overview of what staff who create and maintain content on the library website should be doing throughout the project. As always, we include a list of ways for library staff to remain actively engaged with the project
Tue, 08/02/2011 - 11:43
By now, you've seen the site map and the emerging visual design for the new site; these are like the foundation and the décor of a new house. Between these two layers, there's a lot of design work around creating the rooms, placing the windows, planning the traffic flow, etc. In a website project, that design work is represented in mockups or wireframes that define how the pages will be laid out, what content will be presented, and how the navigation will work.
The 30+ mockups in this PDF cover a representative set of page templates to allow Drupal development and content creation to begin. The designs are based on the user data we collected, and have been validated at several stages by user testing and reviews. We'll continue to validate (and modify) these designs as we build them into a functional site.
Thu, 07/28/2011 - 11:43
We are excited to offer a preview of the emerging visual designs for the new library website. We have included a version of the home page and a sub-page (Ask Us) to give you a sense of the colors, font, layout and overall design aesthetic of the new site.
Keep in mind that these designs are in the early stages of development and -- importantly -- the text and labels in these designs are not by any means final.
We expect the designs to change as the Drupal site gets built and is populated with real library content. And of course we expect that continued user testing and feedback will help us create a clean, usable and, yes, attractive library website.
Thu, 07/14/2011 - 14:54
A critical step in the development of a large complex website is the definition of the information architecture. The information architecture defines the structure, hierarchy and navigational pathways of a website, and the major categories of content.
As part of the Library Website Redesign project we have developed a sitemap to represent the new site's information architecture. The sitemap is based on extensive user testing and feedback, a detailed content analysis of the current SULAIR web environment, and a series of card-sorting exercises.
This is a big step on the road to our new library website. Click the thumbnail below to view the sitemap.
Wed, 06/29/2011 - 22:28
Website designers often use personas to insure the design will meet users' needs. "A persona is a character sketch that represents a particular segment of the target audience," according to Steve Mulder, author of The User is Always Right: A Practical Guide to Creating and Using Personas for the Web.
"With personas website designers can focus on how the website will be used instead of how the technology should work. Instead of asking how a feature should work, the designer can ask, 'What would Francis do?'"
Seven personas were developed to inform the Library Website Redesign. They include one undergraduate, two graduate students, two faculty, a librarian and a visitor.
For those interested, the detailed personas are below:
Wed, 05/25/2011 - 17:11
The SULAIR Website Redesign Project has officially kicked off! The project team is excited to be working with web consultants, Chapter Three, on the first big step--developing a detailed workplan for rolling out a new library website by Fall 2011. To help focus the project, we have developed the following high-level goals:
Website Redesign High-Level Goals
As always, we welcome your feedback on this important and exciting effort to improve our web presence.
Mon, 03/28/2011 - 00:00
We are pleased to share the news that we have selected Chapter Three as a partner for the Library Website Redesign Project. Chapter Three is a "local" (San Francisco) company with Stanford experience, and a managing partner who is a librarian! They have a deep understanding of what we do.
The Library Website Project will include:
This is an exciting and ambitious project that will require focused collaboration from most of us. We have formed the following project team to track the project schedule, liaise with the vendor and to work with SULAIR stakeholders in a variety of ways throughout the project:
Online Experience Group:
Once the project is officially launched (early next month) we will report project progress regularly through updates in this blog and SULAIR news. The Online Experience Group will also be regularly calling upon web content creators and page owners to participate in content inventories, functional requirements development, assessment and testing, content migration, and training evaluation.
As always, we welcome your questions and suggestions to make this important project a resounding SULAIR success! Please send your questions/comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.