Website Redesign

Dreamed, Designed, Debated, Developed: Unveiling the Libraries’ New Website

(Beta Site, March through June 2013: dev7-www.libraries.rutgers.edu)

March brings us not just snow, but also the Libraries’ new beta site: Attend one of several opportunities to get acquainted with our future website: An Open House is held March 8 at 11 am in Alexander Library. Or, check it out from your desk and send your feedback later to the Web Board. On this redesign site you can also find a lot of background material on the work completed thus far.

The Beta Site is the result of a huge collective effort: many colleagues have participated in the two-year long work to dream, design, discuss, debate, and develop what is now in front of you. Every single feature – every page component, every menu item, every search box, every background, every tab, almost every pixel – has been discussed, and sometimes hotly debated, by programmers, designers, testers, various working bodies and approved by the Web Board. Sometimes opposing ideas, all good in their own right, had to be reconciled or just chosen from. But all of it was done in good spirit and lots of good will.

There is no perfect or even finished solution, of course. Everything on the web can be done in many different ways – and that is exactly one of the principles the developers have tried to abide by: Since we can never fully get to know the diverse preferences of patrons (click or navigate, bookmark or browse, search or find), redundancy, with good measure, seems to be the best way forward.

Many things will change, even between now and the expected release date in June, and certainly many more after that. A website is always in flux, and that is how it should be. But from Release Day on, we will be able to make changes much more easily and keep the content updated much more efficiently with many faculty and staff empowered to create and manage the content their job makes them responsible for.

The Beta Site is yours to peruse, but do not be surprised if some features are not working yet, or even not working from time to time – as this is a work in progress. We don’t expect the major solutions to change after today, but we are open to all refinement ideas that may make what you see even better with minimal intervention. Please send your feedback to the Web Board.

Thank you for participating in this collective effort!

The Web Board