lib.ncsu.edu Notes from the redesign team

24Aug/10Off

We Launched!

We welcomed new students back last week with a brand new web site! Check out our welcome post outlining the new features of the site. As always, we appreciate your feedback. Please give us your thoughts and suggestions through the “feedback” button on the far right of the home page.

Filed under: web design Comments Off
15Jul/10Off

Give Us Your Feedback!

For the past several months, the Web site redesign team analyzed the information architecture of the current site, mined through usage statistics and interviewed undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty to determine a new layout and structure for the NCSU Libraries Web site.

Check out the resulting homepage design.

As you're looking through the design, keep in mind the goals of the new homepage and the larger site:

  • Streamline access to search functions and core user tasks
  • Provide ways to contact librarians throughout the user experience
  • Highlight core tools and provide paths to top tasks
  • Promote the library through news & events messaging
  • Promote new innovations in library technology and learning spaces

Give us your feedback on the design by leaving a comment on the blog, providing a suggestion through our feedback widget (in the right column on this blog), or by emailing us at seteague@ncsu.edu.

We look forward to your comments!


Filed under: design, web design 1 Comment
14May/10Off

The Redesign Process

Last week we made a presentation to all staff on the Web site redesign process. The presentation outlined how we determined high level organizational goals for the project, the user-centered design process we're using, our user research, our current progress with wireframing and our next steps.

21Apr/10Off

Thanks for your feedback!

Thanks for your feedback on the recent wireframes we posted. We've updated our wireframes per your suggestions and based on recent search box and navigation usability testing we've conducted (we'll post more about this in the coming week). Let us know what you think!

7Apr/10Off

Give Us Your Feedback!

We need your feedback on our wireframe prototypes!

For the past several months, the Web site redesign team analyzed the information architecture of the current site, mined through usage statistics and interviewed undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty to determine a new layout and structure for the NCSU Libraries Web site.

Check out the resulting wireframes and sitemap.

As you're looking through the wireframes, keep  in mind that they are blueprints, meant to convey layout and content; they do not have colors or images, and the fonts that are used in the wireframes are not the fonts we'll use in the final design. As you're glancing through them, also keep in mind the goals of the new homepage and the larger site:

  • Streamline access to search functions and core user tasks
  • Provide ways to contact librarians throughout the user experience
  • Highlight core tools and provide paths to top tasks
  • Promote the library through news & events messaging
  • Promote new innovations in library technology and learning spaces

Give us your feedback on the wireframes by leaving a comment on the blog, providing a suggestion through our feedback widget (in the right column on this blog), or by emailing us at seteague@ncsu.edu.

We look forward to your comments!

1Apr/10Off

Mega Dropdown Menus

The Web Redesign team has been creating wireframes for mega dropdown menus. Mega dropdowns are "big, two-dimensional drop-down panels [that] group navigation options to eliminate scrolling and use typography, icons, and tooltips to explain the user's choices" (Nielsen, 2009).  As we've been brainstorming the design of these menus, we're looking around at other sites for inspiration. What we're seeing are really innovative, compelling designs. Take a look:

15Feb/10Off

The Redesign Process

The NCSU Libraries Web redesign team is using a user-centered, iterative design process for the 2010 redesign. What this means is that we focus our energies on the end-user throughout all phases of the project, constantly seeking feedback and iteratively updating our site per the feedback we receive.

In the user-centered design process, four phases make up the bulk of the work: discovery, architecture and design, development and implementation. Our goal in the discovery phase is to better understand our users and their motivations for coming to our Web site. In this phase, we'll identify exemplary sites; perform a content analysis of what exists on the current site; develop personas or archetypes of users using the Web site; specify user tasks and goals; and look at usage statistics for the current site.

In architecture and design, we take what we've learned about our users and begin to architect and layout the site specifics. We’ll develop navigation models and create low-fidelity prototypes. We'll use wireframes to communicate what the site structure will look like. From the wireframes, we'll create designs.

The architecture and design phase is very iterative in nature. Once we develop a wireframe or a design, we’ll elicit feedback both internally and externally. We'll use the feedback to refine our wireframe or design and ask for comments again. This process is repeated until we have a final deliverable.

During the development phase of the project, we'll actually build the Web site, including migrating content into the Drupal CMS platform. We expect that this process will be iterative as well, as we're planning to perform usability tests on the site once it is built. Feedback from usability tests and open sessions with external and internal users will inform the final stages of the project and help us solidify the design of our new Web site.

Once the site is launched, we plan to continue using user-centered, iterative methodologies to update the site. We'll conduct usage surveys, and studies about its ongoing use.

We look forward to your feedback about the process we're using. Feel free to drop us a line.

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