Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Pattern library for library web site design?

Just poking my head above the water (the Ocean of the Imminently Due Master's Thesis) to ask if anyone else thinks it would be a good idea to start a wiki-based pattern library of design elements and design solutions for library web sites.

Inspired by the Yahoo! Design Pattern Library, I thought it would really cool if there were a site that would feature all kinds of solutions to common design issues for library web sites. For example, most libraries have got a collection of databases that can be accessed via the library site. How you present that list (i.e., how you slice and dice the list of databases by title, by subject, by type, etc.) is a common problem web designers must address. It would be great to have a site that recommends and links to really great examples of things like:

  • database lists
  • search this site boxes
  • catalog search boxes on the home page
  • link resolver look-up tools (like the "journal finder" tool from SFX that many libraries have customized)
  • "how to" pages (e.g., "how to find books" or "how to find articles" pages)
In addition to the Yahoo! Design Pattern Library, I should also mention two other sites that inspired this idea: John Kupersmith's Library Terms That Users Understand page and the MyLibrary Manual from the University Libraries at Notre Dame.

I'm just throwing the idea out there so (a) I don't forget it (b) mabye someone will take the idea and run with it or (c) someone will tell me about some already existing site that does this. While I've been part of the committee at my library that is working on the redesign of our web site, we've been looking at hundreds of other library sites and taking notes. You can find some of those sites we found especially noteworthy in our committee's del.icio.us account.


At 1:00 PM , Blogger David said...

I think you could use meredith Farkas' Library Success wiki for those type of things - there's a technology and even a web section.


At 1:11 PM , Blogger Stephen Francoeur said...

Good idea. There's already a Website Design page in the Library Success wiki. There's also a Web site page in the LIS Wiki. I was envisioning a site where each component or element that you might encounter on a library web site gets its own page. Each page would offer notable examples, links to relevant blog postings, a bibliography, etc.

At 1:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, yes. Right away. Creating web pages from scratch when you're not a designer is no fun at all.

At 1:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, yes right away. creating web pages from scratch when you're not a designer is no fun at all.


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