Minutes of November 13, 1998 Meeting

Jeanne Boyle, Rebecca Gardner, Ron Jantz, Sam McDonald (chair), Mark Witteman (minutes)

General Outline:

  1. WAC Design Sub-committee's charge
  2. Timeline for completion of charge
  3. Design principles (the "look and feel" of the web site)
  4. Brainstorming
  5. Miscellaneous and homework

I. WAC Design Subcommittee's Charge

The group considered a list of tasks facing this group provided by McDonald. Decided that the groups general charge was to:

  1. create an overall suggested plan (for WAC) for the development and rollout process of a new RUL web site
  2. work to understand the needs and expectations of our user population and to meet those needs and expectations
  3. develop policies on look-and-feel...graphics, style, color, layout etc.
    - some questions remain as to how "deep" the changes to the pages' look and feel would go. Would all be changed, or would we have to leave out certain classes of pages for now. Time constraints may make it difficult to roll out all pages at once.
  4. select categories and list all sub-categories that come off the main page and any running links on sub-pages. Know the interrelations, content and purpose of those categories.
  5. develop suggested policies on maintenance and further development of the new site

II. Timeline for Completion of Charge

Agreed also that the projected timeline for the project is:

  1. Initial Design Decisions (by end of January '99)
  2. Re-writing of existing web-pages, begin solicitation of new content, and editing of existing content (by end of March '99)
  3. Finish coding all of step 2 (by end of April '99)
  4. Publicize the changes (May '99)
  5. Test and evaluate the new site with users (May & June '99)
  6. Make changes as suggested by evaluation (June & July '99)
  7. Rollout of new site - replace old site (July / pre-Fall Semester)

The group also hoped to create some kind of ongoing evaluation by asking for comment from student employees, new staff members who are not long- time library employees, the Library Assesment Committee. Would also want to read articles and other resources on web design for libraries and higher education.

III. Design Principles (The "Look and Feel" of the Web Site)

Agreed on the following design principles:

  1. RUL web pages will adopt the left bar menu from the Rutgers toolkit (http://www.rutgers.edu/toolkit)
  2. 5 colors...black, white, RUL logo dark blue, light blue for accent, medium blue for accent
  3. scrolling: agreed that we would want the homepage to have little or no scrolling on a 17" 1024 x 768 pixel monitor with a 12 point browser font. Some scrolling will be anavoidable on 15" monitor 640 x 480 pixels, but we should design pages that are still attractive at these settings.
  4. agree that readability (minimum type size) is important
  5. agree that short descriptions of sub-resources on homepage will probably be needed
  6. acknowledge that all-centered, or all left-justified menus should be adopted for consistency, with left alignment to be generally prefered.
  7. agree that design should be adaptable to Lynx
  8. agree that color should not be a critical part of information differentiation (in part due to lynx compatability issues).

IV. Brainstorming

A brainstorming session followed. McDonald passed out printouts of six different academic library web pages. The group listed on a whiteboard the links listed on each libraries' pages. Knowing what other sites place on their home pages and how they present those things will aid in our own development.

V. Miscellaneous and Homework

Prepared by: Mark H. Witteman

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/web_advisory/minutes/wacmin_98_11_13.shtml
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