Minutes of June 26, 2012 Meeting

Au, Deodato, Fetzer, Gardner, Gwizdka, Koruth(Recorder), Ling, McDonald, Mills, Purger.


  1. Home Page Refresh (Koruth)
  2. Search Interface Summer Test (Gardner, Deodato, Gwizdka)
  3. Visual Design Schedule (Purger)
  4. Miscellaneous

1. Home Page Refresh

A. Koruth presents the design treatment for the RUL home page 'refresh' and its rationale. The design is an interim visual improvement to the current home page and will feature the same navigation and site architecture as now. The first goal of the refresh is to present a temporary but cleaner, modernized look to the home page without changing its current structure and layout, until the final redesign is deployed with new information architecture and appearance. The second goal of the refresh is to provide a staging space to test the tabbed search interface. The latest prototype image of the refresh is available at: http://www4.libraries.rutgers.edu/redesign/rul-home-page-refresh

B. Search Tabs will feature the following text to request feedback from users: "Share your thoughts on this new search interface". On the linked survey page, more details will be provided to describe the current search tabs' implementation as a test. It is important to accentuate the link so that it catches the user's eye.

DECISION: The Board approves the creation of a very short, open-ended e-mail form. Questions will be sent by Deodato/Gardner to Ling and McDonald by July 5 for implementation.

C. Koruth and Purger emphasize the importance of featuring high-quality photographs on the site. It is necessary to create a larger pool of photographs to be used for the rotating featured graphic on the home page.

D. Au asks if the links on the top of the vertical left navigation bar (Search Library Catalogs, Find Articles) should be removed because the same actions are now available via the search tabs. Gwizdka mentions that differences in terminology used in the tabbed search and the links on the vertical navigation bar could cause confusion, and should be changed to say the same thing.

DECISION: While concerns are justified, significant changes (including terminology) in any navigational element would go beyond the scope of the refresh, for reasons described above in 1.A.


F. Deodato cautions that the Ask A Librarian block and the Search Tabs block, when active together, could make the RUL refresh page look too much like a form, but acknowledges that this was temporary and the rotating graphic that replaces the chat window will give the page added visual dimension. The rationale for the rotating graphic is to feature specific library initiatives or digital exhibits and to provide a 'human face' to the libraries. It will feature a new graphic with a caption each time the home page is loaded; graphics will come from a set of five, and the set of graphics will be replaced periodically.

G. DECISION: The tentative release date for the refresh is the week of July 16th.

2. Search Team Summer Testing

Gwizdka proposes using 'eye tracking' software to test search tabs. He will present a proposal at the next meeting.

Deodato says that the beta release of the search interface will be evaluated using a combination of user feedback and actual usage data. Qualitative feedback will be collected via a brief user survey while quantitative data is compiled using Google Analytics to track:

While neither evaluation method is without shortcomings, taken together they should offer a fair idea of how the interface is being used and guidance for the design of the next iteration.

Action Items: The Board endorses a three-pronged approach to testing based on analysis of user comments, usage statistics, and eye tracking.
Gardner notes there will be another iteration of search tabs before the final redesign.
Gwizdka's test using eye-tracking will be integrated into the second run of search tabs testing. The timeline is to be determined.

3. Visual Design Schedule

Purger announces that the PO has been issued and work has commenced. Specific dates are yet to be determined.
Deodato asks if IIS would code the design, once it is delivered by the designers.
Purger notes this is still an open question, but for the purpose of speed, external consultants are preferred.
Web Board will identify content managers once the site is rebuilt in the Drupal CMS.

Purger asks if there was an effort by to review LibGuides.
Deodato answers, he will lead the LibGuides team to work with authors on how to revise guides. He will also hold workshops to improve the way in which LibGuides are created. Efforts will be made to unify LibGuides and integrate their style to match the look and feel of the future website.

The project schedule together with planned release dates will be discussed in September.

Purger reminds the Board that local library home pages such as Camden would have to be kept in mind for ultimate re-integration into the redesigned website.

4. Miscellaneous

A. Discovery layer efforts: Purger indicates that Marianne Gaunt treats this with highest priority. VALE has selected VuFind as the discovery layer for its shared OLS. USC has recommended the formation of a committee (to be chaired by Deodato) which will be responsible for coordinating the implementation of VuFind at RUL.

B. The Solr/Lucene search engine has been implemented in RU Core and will be used for the redesigned site as well.

C. Web Board membership renewal will be discussed by the Co-chairs and the Sponsors.

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/web_board/minutes/web_board_12_06_26.shtml
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