Library Website Redesign
I am pleased to announce that the Library will kick off its Website Redesign beginning Fall Quarter 2009. We will be taking a bit different approach to this initiative than we have in the past. I have chosen this approach given the reality of our resources. While this process may be different, my commitment to the UCLA Library as a learning organization remains high and the need to redesign our web presence must move quickly.
I will provide milestone updates in my blog as the redesign project is unfolding. In this first update, I would like to share with you details about the redesign process.
Library Web Services (LWS) recalibrated the redesign process in April/May 09, since it had become apparent that the process initially proposed was staff intensive and therefore, too expensive to implement in the rapidly evolving fiscal climate. While the key principles remain intact from the initial proposal, such as transparency and evidence-based methodology, LWS was also charged to develop a process that addresses affordability, efficiency, and productivity. Key characteristics of the recalibrated process are summarized below:
1 Year Iterative Developments: A one year roadmap has been developed to complete the redesign; within the year, the redesign will be phased into timely deliverables based on the importance of user goals;
User Focus and Transparency: The redesign will open up to users directly, including both end users and library staff, and LWS will solicit feedback to improve the new site throughout the one year project and beyond;
Agile Team: A small and agile, expertise-driven team will be charged with recommending and prioritizing site enhancements based on user feedback; a various expertise from other library units will be invited into the team as needed later in redesign. The current team members are: John Wang (Chair), Head of LWS; Kevin Rundblad, eLearning Librarian; Sharon Shafer, Web Services Librarian; and Chris Cabrera Thompson, Web site Administrator;
Speed Interface Work with Design Firm: We will source necessary design expertise just- in- time to deliver high-scale and professional user interface and site functionalities, rather than developing in house design expertise or hiring a full-time employee;
Parallel Redesign Site: LWS will design, prototype, test, improve, and implement a beta redesign site in a parallel environment, alongside the existing Web environment. This will allows LWS to continue full library services as the new site is developed. It will also mitigate security risks to the current Library network, expedite the up-scaling and down-scaling of infrastructure needs, and properly test new suitable Web technologies. The parallel site will be linked from the header section of the current Library Website to ensure maximum accessibility and visibility to library users.
Keeping up with Redesign
LWS will host WebTalk (brown bag events) to communicate with staff in person periodically; the WebTalks will complement my blog posts on redesign.
Staff may also use the LWS Team Site as a repository for redesign documentations, including the redesign plan, prototypes, user research data, user feedback, technical white papers, etc.
Finally, staff may get real- time updates via the Redesign Beta Site. John will send the URL for this site as soon as it is live.
My intention is to keep you informed through regular updates here as the process moves forward.