Panelists: Robin Leech (Oklahoma State University Libraries), Amelia Brunskill (Dickinson College), Edward M. Corrado (Binghamton University), Elizabeth Black (Ohio State University Libraries), Russell Schelby (Ohio State University Libraries)
Moderator: Mary LaMarca (Dartmouth College Library)
When they began the project two years ago, the website was large and maintained by 100 content submitters, most of whom had limited coding expertise. Selected and implemented a Web Content Management System, and created a team of technical experts with both coding and project management skills. Black consciously focused on team development activities in addition to the projects the team worked on.
The team made a commitment to security, usability, maintainability, and data preservation of the website content. As a part of the data preservation, they were careful to document everything from architecture to passwords.
Four years ago, Academic Technology, Library, and Information Services merged to become one division. The website was initially integrated, but then user feedback caused it to be broken out into separate divisions again. After a few years, the library wanted to make some changes, so they did a usability study, which resulted in some menu and vocabulary changes. Then, they began to plan for a much larger redesign.
To solve the communication problem, they set up a blog, charged unit representatives to report back to their units, and circulated usability data among all library staff. The usability studies also served as a buffer for touchy political situations, since the users are a neutral party.
Developed two teams. The usability team informed the web redesign team, with only the library webmaster serving on both. Suggested that usability team read Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug.
Note: I had to leave early because I could not stop coughing. The hotel HVAC was not playing nicely with my cold.