I gave a webinar for PLA last week on digital branches – fun stuff! Here are my slides… if a recorded version appears, I’ll link to it here!
I’ve been working on some large writing projects this year, and in the process, came across some great lists of web design trends for 2012 that I thought I’d share. Let me know if you are incorporating any of these into your websites!
Web design trends for 2012
So – get busy and start designing like it’s 2012!
image by Mike Licht
During my library’s last website redesign, we went through quite a few design iterations, and we still weren’t happy. Two people in our Creative Group team (more on that in the next post) … ok, our head of marketing and the deputy director … kept sending us website examples they liked. Sites like shoe stores or clothing shops. Yes, they were beautiful websites, and nicely designed. But they weren’t really all that similar to a library website.
One big difference – these attractive websites did one thing well – they sold shoes or clothes. They didn’t have any catalog to speak of. The websites were full of single pages that pointed to single items.
But a library website has at least two basic needs – a site that talks about the library, and shares useful stuff. And we have a library catalog. So it didn’t really make much sense to me to base our library website design around a site that only does half of what we do.
So I started poking around, looking for websites that focus on two things:
Amazon and Zappos? Pretty much all catalog. News sites? Pretty much large multi-blog sites – focusing on stuff. Then it dawned on me – library websites are like Apple. Apple essentially has two separate websites – the main site that focuses on their stuff, and their “catalog” – their online store.
We based our redesign around Apple, in these ways:
So far, it’s working out great – few complaints, lots of compliments. Our public trainers have told us they cut down training on how to use our website from an hour to 10-15 minutes. Fingers crossed that it stays that way for a while!
If you’re interested in building better websites, make sure to sign up for my upcoming webinar for ALA TechSource on June 8 – Building the Digital Branch: Designing Effective Library Websites. Just click the link to sign up!
This will be the second time I have given this webinar. If you attended the first one, never fret! There will be new content – I’m going to talk about how Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (where I work) built our current website (the redesign went live on March 1).
Here’s the blurb for the webinar:
Every library needs a presence on the web. Whether you work at a large academic library or a public library in a small town, you need to be able to deliver service and content to patrons outside your building. David Lee King will once again present this popular workshop, taking you through the process of building an effective, user-friendly library website that will expand and enhance your library’s presence in the community.
In this workshop, you’ll learn: