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Webbin' Rebels

Web Accessibility Task Force: Groundwork

By Brian Egan on November 24, 2009 4:07 PM | Permalink

Many thanks to Cory for getting the Web Accessibility Task Force off the ground! This is a great step forward for the accessibility of our site, but it’s just the beginning. We need to sustain the momentum and begin to plan our activities so the committee produces positive outcomes. I hope to lay the groundwork for that planning today by establishing the goal of the committee and discussing the guidelines our website should follow.


I want the goal and scope of this committee to be fairly limited. While we need to focus on accessibility, it shouldn’t be an all-consuming time-beast. Therefore, the goal I envision for the committee is to:

Determine guidelines for accessibility and create a set of sustainable processes that help our website meet those guidelines.

The Evolution of a Kiosk Interface

By Brian Egan on November 20, 2009 6:08 PM | Permalink

Updated Below!

With the help of the Media Department and Systems, we recently launched the LabMaps kiosk, located on the first floor next to the copier. The kiosk shows patrons the number of computers available on each floor, and if a patron clicks on one of the floors, a LabMap will display showing a map of where the available computers are located. If you didn’t see the kiosk before 5:00pm, you’ll have missed the first interface I made for it, and that saves me some embarrassment =)

First Interface

But I’m gonna embarrass myself anyway. The first interface was incomplete, and came at the problem from the wrong angle. For those of you who didn’t get a chance to see it, here are a couple of screenshots to give you an idea of how it worked.

Opening Screen, the user would click on one of these links to go into a LabMap:

LabMap Screen, shrunk to fit. The big gray box is the “Back” button.

Tools used for web traffic analysis

By Kee Choi on November 13, 2009 10:56 AM | Permalink
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for bargraph.jpg
Effective January 2010, Urchin 6 will become the default/primary web traffic analysis tool forthe library.  Due to migration issues, Urchin 6 will not have the historical data currently available in version 5.  Urchin 5 will be available for sometime until an official decommission date is determined.

Link to Urchin 5  (Traffic Data from July 31.2006 to present)

FAQ Content for Mobile Devices

By Kee Choi on November 5, 2009 3:56 PM | Permalink
Recently, the WMC put out a call for volunteers to participate in the Going Mobile Interest Group.  The group had its first meeting in October and a good cross section of the library were represented.

Minutes from the October 20 Meeting

The group spent some time talking about FAQs so it stood out as a topic of interest for everyone at the meeting.  There are existing FAQs scattered about the library's web site but the group agreed that a separate FAQs, targeting our mobile device users, is needed.

Brian's wireframe/prototype includes a Policies section but that will be changed to FAQs.  The FAQs will include answers to policy related questions.


Printer-friendly web pages

By Brian Egan on November 4, 2009 3:15 PM | Permalink

The web is an exciting profession because of just how rapidly things change. Within the last few years, one phenomenon has made the lives of web designers much easier: Cascading style sheets, more commonly known as CSS.

CSS is an incredible technology because it allows designers to quickly and easily control the look of a multiple pages without touching the content. CSS can also be applied within a variety of contexts, such as for mobile browsers, regular web browsers, print, and in the future, screen readers.

As pointed out by Kee earlier this week, the latest update to our templates caused printing problems for a number of pages. Years ago, this problem would have struck fear into the hearts of designers. But today, thanks to the adoption of CSS, providing printer-friendly pages is as simple as making a few updates to our CSS files.