Our new main page has three main sections that are easily seen in the graphic accompanying this post:
1. Featured Stuff. The top section is reserved for our featured stuff. We have one large featured area that can rotate with multiple . The goal there is to highlight on our 1-2 “Big, Important Things.” That could mean a library event, or it could be some new database we purchased.
There are also three smaller featured boxes that we’ll change up a bit more often. They’ll point to other cool stuff we’re doing.
And of course, the nav bar is in the top section. We went with a top horizonal nav bar this time around. It actually drops down and expands for more links (pretty much a copy of NPR‘s nav bar).
2. What’s Happening Now. The middle section highlights our content that changes often, namely our blog content and our programs. Most of this stuff, especially the blog posts, will disappear off the main page pretty fast, and that’s ok. it’s meant to hightlight “what’s happening now.”
3. Social Media. This is where we highlight our latest Twitter tweets, Youtube videos, flickr and Facebook Page.
This took us us a little over a year to complete – I started meeting with staff in February of 2010. I met with most of the library, and held some patron focus groups, too – then turned the notes from those meetings into a huge list of stuff we needed to change.
Then, we had quite a few decisions to make:
- We had to decide how to handle content (more on that in a future post)
- We needed to assign staff to content (still working on this one)
- We needed to choose a CMS (we’re using WordPress this time around)
- Visual design and navigation took awhile to get right, too
Our Creative Group (a team made up of our marketing department and our web developers) did most of this work … but the whole library helped in some way, too.
So yeah – it was a LOT of work … and it never really stops. We’re still cleaning stuff up, and will probably start tweaking pages in another week or so!