My library is in the very beginning stage of redesigning our website, so I've been collecting various links on the subject. I thought this infographic was funny, and maybe actually useful too.
The "translations" down the right side are actually a nice little collection of sample ideas. And of course, when our design team starts getting input on early drafts from staff and patrons, the translations themselves will surely be invaluable.
I don't post nearly enough instances of Things Done Well (check out Walking Paper for lots of examples), but here are two things I saw recently that deserve attention:
Thing One: Ramp-In-Stairs
What I like about this is that they were designed together, from the start, and not only look nice, but (presumably) work well too. Much better than having a magnificent grand staircase, then a rickety wooden ramp up the side, or worse, a sign saying "ramp access around the back."
It's similar to deliberately designing websites and catalogs that look good and work well on multiple browsers at multiple screen resolutions. The best approach, I think, is starting from the ground up with responsive web design (à la Canton (MI) Library, à la One-Pager), instead of trying to backward-hack mobile-compatibility in after the fact, or just tacking a mobile-friendly site on in parallel to your main website.
Thing Two: Domino's Engine Noises
So apparently, Domino's delivers pizza via scooter in the Netherlands, but the scooters were so quiet that cyclists couldn't hear them. To help prevent accidents, Domino's added a "motor" sound to the scooters - but instead of just a typical engine noise, they had fun with it:
Awesome, because it not only serves the purpose of an audible warning, but it's also extremely well-done audible advertising - it's funny, attention-getting, memorable, and shows an unexpectedly playful side of an otherwise perhaps impersonal company.
When libraries start delivering items to people via scooters, this would be a great thing to try - the engine noise could be "vrrrlibrarylibrarylibrary BOOKS librarylibrarylibrarylibrary DVDs librarylibrary..."
Sarah goes into some detail about the features of the new website and their reasoning behind it, which is worth reading. Here's my two cents too:
I love that they've done away with organizing their website along library department lines (Reference, Childrens Teens, etc.)
The design is wonderful - so clean and simple, yet colorful, engaging and informative. It's so different it's shocking at first, but once your eyes and mind adjust to the new design, everything is just there
Actually, now that I think of it, the homepage reminds me of the app icons on a smartphone - which is an interface that increasing numbers of people are becoming familiar with
I like embedding functionality, so two things I'd be curious to try to see if they'd work are:
In the New and Events block, instead of a picture to click on, embed a scrollable list of upcoming events to bring that info one step closer to the patron. Also include the link to drill down into the rest of that section
In the Locations block, again instead of a picture, it'd be neat to just embed the Google Map right there, and have each of the branch location markers include address, phone, email, and hours. That would put so much information right on the homepage, and of course again include a link to get into the rest of the section
But these might be overwhelming, so you'd have to try them to see
My library is planning to redesign our website, ahead of our migration to Evergreen. I'm definitely going to lobby to use SJPL's design as one of our models. Good job guys.
With the demise of Bloglines, I've been going through all the posts I had bookmarked and pulling out the ones I wanted to mention in a post - this is one of those posts.
Something I really like about feed aggregators is that, by reading feeds from a wide variety of sources, it is possible to spot coincidental trends (which I like doing). For instance, a couple weeks ago I noticed a few of posts all about book covers:
And speaking of book covers, remember to play with LibraryThing's CoverGuess, to help build a database that can answer questions like, "well, I don't remember the title, but it was a red book, and had like this guy on a street with maybe like a purple penguin?"
Update: I forgot to include my two biggest book cover pet peeves:
Covers where the author's name is bigger than the title
Cook books where the chef (usually a celebrity) is more prominently-featured than the food