New Library Site Responds to 21st-Century Students and Their Mobile Devices
Students, both those familiar with Falvey’s website and those new to it, will appreciate the major upgrade to the site this month. The library’s Web Development team* designed the new site to be more modern and responsive “to the host of new screens and devices now widely available and used by our patrons,” according to David Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications.
The Web Development team, Uspal explains, set three general design goals for this project:
Goal 1) To be “Tech Forward” (Utility)—This idea applies to the Library as changing our services to keep up with “the ever evolving lifestyles of our user.”
The team achieved this goal with web pages that will reformat themselves “to fit on your screen in a clean way, shifting elements around to maximize screen real estate on all sorts of devices, from desktops to tablets to phones.” Users can observe this capability on their computers by shrinking the window’s size. As it gets smaller, “the elements on the page dynamically adjust to fit the size” of the window.
Goal 2) To be “Fashion Forward” (Promotion)—Falvey’s web pages should stay current with modern design standards.
The team responded with a modern design, using “flat tiles, squared off edges, and bright colors vice drop shadows, rounded corners and buttons, and monotone colors.” This style choice “lends perfectly to the needs of a responsive design, making shifting elements on a page much easier.”
Goal 3) To be as consistent as possible with the pages published by the University as a whole, but without compromising our first two principles in doing so (Synergy)—It is “important to have our pages look and feel like a [Villanova] University page.”
Visitors to Falvey’s newly designed site will observe strong similarities to other University pages in layout and format, while retaining the library site’s color themes to aid in navigation.
Villanova students played an essential role in the new website’s design. Randomly selected student volunteers participated in usability testing, performing a number of tasks to explore the website’s functionality. Their testing and feedback informed the site designers’ work.
* Falvey’s Web Development team members include Laura Bang, Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant; Robin Bowles, nursing/life science librarian; Kimberley Bugg, team leader, Information and Research Assistance and service development; Kristyna Carroll, research support librarian for business and social sciences; Christopher Hallberg, Library Technology Development specialist; Demian Katz, Library Technology Development specialist; David Lacy, team leader for the Web Technology and the Library Technology Development teams; Jutta Seibert team leader – Academic Integration; and David Uspal.
For this website project, Joanne Quinn, team leader and graphic designer for Falvey’s Communication and Service Promotion team provided the Web team some design specs and alternatives to work with. Robin Bowles sums up the team’s efforts: “We are always working towards making the site both more functional and more eye catching … the site is an ever evolving project, and we are working on even more improvements.”
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