Monday, August 13, 2007

Panic, Setting In...

Well, it's already two weeks into August, and I'm officially starting to freak out. I can't believe the fall semester starts in two weeks! On top of planning our library instruction sessions for the term, as well as our outreach and promotion, we just found out that we are a go on the new website, but the person who will be designing the CMS template (and so basically, the site) will be leaving at the end of September, so we need to be ready to launch by the end of August.

Wait, what?!!! You'd think with all my complaining and scheming and daydreaming that I would be ready for this by now, but when you actually start to put your ideas in motion, all sorts of problems and issues arise. Suddenly we are getting very critical of our planned navigation, and how will we deal with third and fourth-level nav, and what about server stuff, and what are our online forms coded in?! Oh, and we want to overhaul the content too, so new pages have to be created for all the first and second-level links. Yikes!!!

Some issues we've already encountered:
  • What to call that pesky database page? People obviously get confused by the term (and rightly so, in my eyes.) So far we've settled on Online Resources.
  • What links should go down the left-hand side of the page? These will be our main navigation, and will stay consistent on all pages, so they need to be helpful and fairly self-explanatory. (Right now we're thinking of using Research Tools, Library Services, Special Collections, About the Library, FAQ, and Contact Us.
  • What size screen/resolution to design for? Too big and there will be side-scrolling, too small and there's way too much white space. We're thinking 1024x768 might be a good middle ground...

The homepage will also feature a box that gets populated from our blog, and a MeeboMe widget for IM reference.

So, yeah, I'm definitely freaking out a bit here. But alas, my dream of a site redesign is finally being realized, so the scary deadline is also a sign that we will actually get the new site we were hoping for in the foreseeable future.

If anyone has any insight on good library website design, or sites they think are particularly well-done, please send them this way, I know for a fact that I am in over my head, and would be so thankful for any tips!