Thursday, July 17, 2008

Design meeting with Rob Glaze...

As was discussed at the last meeting and in the blog, Rob Glaze [ULM's webmaster, in case you don't know], Mike Magee, and Karen Niemla met today (for almost 2 hours) to talk about the actual web site implementation and design.

Here's some points of note discussed:

-- there was much talk about the site tiers and navigation. Truth be told, the library site is relatively small

-- Breadcrumbs (semantic, not directory) might not actually be appropriate for a web page of this size. You need a breadcrumb trail in the deep, dark forest, not the park. A link to the home page will probably cover our needs. (The home page is, as we've planned it, is a link hub when you really look at it) Besides, as Rob pointed out, the semantic breadcrumbs will not make sense if the page is linked to by more than one.

-- The news box/area has been eliminated. This way, when something critically important changes, people will know for sure that it's important because it would not be posted directly to the home page if it wasn't.
Otherwise, we can put such information on the blog (which is what the blog is for anyway)

-- Rob favors something similar to this because other new web pages going up at ULM also have or will have the "geometric" look.

-- picture loading java scripts are okay. Or we can just manually change images. Whatever.

-- Should we have a drop-down menu sort of like this for quick links to all our databases on the home page? (sorry about the mess; inserting html directly into blogger doesn't always work right)
Mike says yes. Karen says no. Rob won't get involved. So this will be decided by a vote at the next meeting!

-- A general page design (of some sort) will be ready for committee approval by Aug. 7 (2008!). It will be fairly independent of "content." The center table will be an empty area where the "content" of the page goes, so that: a) actually creating a page will be easy b) each page will look pretty much exactly the same, which is something users do expect.

-- implementation (AKA "putting up") of the website is largely up to Mike and Rob.

-- ...but of course, we will be using absolutely nothing that the committee as a whole disapproves of. Graphics included.

We did not discuss, however...

-- what happens with pages off the "main" library site (like our subject guides). I propose that such pages have a top banner like the one on my own page:

It's just a table with a fill and an image link in it. It can be placed in any web page if you know how.
Then users will know they're still in library world and will have a link to return home.
If said page is maroon, the background gradient can be changed to a ULM-gold one, so it won't look odd.

-- Or again, maybe all library web pages should use the same design template as the rest of the site? Should it be this way?
So this will be decided by a vote at the next meeting!

-- ( Of course, pages this far down do not need great attention right away)

-- graphics programs and problems with anti-aliasing and artifacting... it's tedious to make them look just right, but I think it's essential. (I had meant to bring up imaging but forgot)


At the next meeting we will:

-- critique the general web template for the site and approve it and changes to be made to it [this comes first, because a) this is where the "copy" will go; when they meet a real page is created b) if there are changes to be made, time will be needed to make those changes ] The page look will likely be similar to ones you've all seen before, so maybe it won't be much trouble.

-- look at and talk about the "copy" text only pages we've all made.

-- I will try to enforce maximum time of 30 min. for each of these.

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