Research Links: List of Databases, Course Reserves

Quick Search: Articles, newspapers, books and ebooks, videos and more. Results primarily available online but may also include books available in the library or articles that can be requested for email delivery from ILLiad.
Books: Print and online books available from UNLV Libraries or by ILLiad request.
Articles: Articles from academic journals, magazines and newspapers.

Library Information: Pages on library web site, for example research guides, library policies and procedures, hours and events.

The Design Process

By Brian Egan on July 16, 2009 6:18 PM | Permalink

The chance to switch to Drupal will give us a chance to improve our website in a number of ways. However, switching over to Drupal isn't a magic bullet that will solve all our problems. In fact, should we approach the transition the wrong way, a lot of headaches could ensue.

Therefore, I think it's crucial we plan our design process up front to include all relevant factors for consideration. That way, we will gather the right information, and use that information to influence our design choices with the next web site. Douglas Bowman, lead designer for Twitter, said the following in his post "A design process revealed":

"For individuals who are neither designers nor artists, it may seem like those who are, use a lot of smoke and mirrors, magically whipping up each stunning creation. Artistic talent and creativity can certainly aid and enhance the final result, but design, in particular, generally follows a process."

The Bowman Process

  1. Research & Discovery
  2. Competitive Analysis (e.g. Looking at other Library Websites)
  3. Exploration (e.g. Brainstorming)
  4. Thumbnail Sketching
  5. Typography
  6. Imagery
  7. Composition
  8. Execution & Implementation

Having worked on mostly smaller sites, I've actually used Bowman's process as my own since reading his article back in 2003. But with a web site this large, there are special considerations to be made.

The UO/Willamette Process

In addition to Bowman's design process, I also wanted to see what other Academic Libraries had done. Luckily, the University of Oregon and Willamette University recently updated their pages, and both schools gave a joint presentation on their redesign processes (PowerPoint).

UO's Process

  1. Review previous usability results and other websites
  2. Create requirements gathering questions
  3. Meet with library departments
  4. Conduct online survey with target audiences
  5. Identify areas for further research via focus groups.
  6. Conduct follow-up focus groups with target audience

Willamette's process

  1. Design Group critique of current site, with wider staff input
  2. Review web site logs to determine page use
  3. Scan other web sites to identify potentially useful design concepts
  4. Conduct student and faculty focus groups
  5. Finalize general design principles

Suggested UNLV Process

Ok, so now we have three differing perspectives, all with necessary elements. Below is my suggested (perhaps too detailed) design process for the upcoming site, using a combination of the three processes, and including a few steps of my own:

  1. Research & Discovery
    1. Patron/Staff Input
      1. Design Group critique of current site, with wider staff input
      2. Review previous usability results
      3. Identify Usability tests that need to be performed, and perform them
      4. Conduct Focus Groups with students
      5. Determine Patron/Faculty/Staff objectives
      6. Create Robust Personas from this information
    2. Statistical Data
      1. Popular Pages
      2. Common Search Terms
    3. Competitive Analysis (in my mind this seemed to fit under research).
  2. Information Architecture
    1. Use provided data to put together a hierarchical site map
    2. Weigh content by importance
    3. Plan content migration from the old site structure into the new site structure with Drupal
    4. Plan necessary modules/custom programming that will be needed.
    5. Determine most important content for home page
    6. Identify the most important sections to mock up
  3. Wireframe Prototypes (Composition) & Gather Feedback
    1. Sketch Thumbnails of important sections
    2. Turn thumbnails into Wireframes (see the UO/Willamette presentation for examples of how wireframes work)
    3. Gather feedback on Wireframes
    4. Perhaps even do some usability testing on wireframes
    5. Improve wire frames based on feedback. Rinse & repeat until wire frames are satisfactory.
  4. Design Prototypes & Gather Feedback
    1. Determine Typography, Imagery, and Color
    2. Explore styles and
    3. Apply design styling to the various wireframes
    4. Review designs with patron/faculty/staff. Rinse and repeat until design is satisfactory.
  5. Implementation
    1. Content migration
    2. Style the web site (applying the Design Prototypes to the web site)
    3. Set up necessary modules
    4. Write custom code that may be necessary
    5. Begin formal staff training on Drupal
  6. Review & Polish
    1. Gather review and feedback.
    2. Perform post-hoc usability tests
    3. Find trouble areas
    4. Improve those areas
  7. Publish!

Phew!

Ok, I think it's fair to say that got pretty out of control, and I don't think I've even hit all the points. This is a first draft of the design process we might consider following, and I would love to hear feedback and suggestions on how we could improve it. We want our next site to be exceptional, and that starts with good planning, and comes to fruition with a good process.

Comments

Submitted by clampert on
Hey Brian, great post! I think this provides a lot of food for thought. One of the things that I find interesting is that there is a place in this process for virtually everyone to participate in creating a better site. I really think the key is to get the right people participating in the right ways. Feedback and comments from the critiques, focus groups, and our from users feed directly into re-architecting the site. Statistics and data will support and guide the process. There is indeed room for creativity. And the whole thing will be tested and evaluated; not just at the end, but as part of an on-going process. I would greatly encourage us to think not of this as a project-based "re-design", but as a committment to an integrated process of constant review, revision, and improvement.
Submitted by Akash Singh (not verified) on
The most reputed, professional Packers and Movers company in Pune.Visit:- http://www.expert5th.in/packers-and-movers-pune/ The most reputed, professional Packers and Movers company in Bangalore.Visit:- http://www.expert5th.in/packers-and-movers-bangalore/ The most reputed, professional Packers and Movers company in Hyderabad.Visit:- http://www.expert5th.in/packers-and-movers-hyderabad/
Submitted by Akash Singh (not verified) on
The most reputed, professional Packers and Movers company in Delhi.Visit:- http://www.expert5th.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/ The most reputed, professional Packers and Movers company in Gurgaon.Visit:- http://www.expert5th.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/ The most reputed, professional Packers and Movers company in Mumbai.Visit:- http://www.expert5th.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai/
Submitted by gynaecologist i... (not verified) on
This is definitely the best writeup which is covering in depth advice I am very much thankful to you for sharing a master piece Thanks http://drzainabalazzawi.com
Submitted by oral and maxill... (not verified) on
I was very happy to uncover this website. I wanted to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every part of it and i also have you bookmarked to check out new things in your web site http://drfirasosman.com
Submitted by porcelain venee... (not verified) on
What’s Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to give a contribution & help other users like its aided me. Good job. http://americanmdcenter.com/en/services/porcelain-veneers/
Submitted by Dentist in Dubai (not verified) on
I just want to tell you that I’m new to blogging and site-building and honestly liked you’re web-site. Likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You amazingly have fabulous articles. Thank you for revealing your website page. http://americanmdcenter.com/special-offer/
Submitted by godown in mumba... (not verified) on
It certainly is mostly unthinkable to see well-qualified parties on this issue, although you appear like you understand what you’re writing on! Appreciate It http://godamwale.com/list?searchText=mumbai
Submitted by Chris (not verified) on
will submit an rss feed to this site. Love the articles. Well written. Thank you. http://criminaldefense909.com

Pages

Add new comment