Monday, February 23, 2009

Research Hot Team - Also My Heroes!

On Friday, I met with our "Research" Hot Team, which is helping me compile resources for the Research section of our new website. In particular, we focused on the new Subject Guides we're implementing.

We have 27 categories right now, and each include the following resources (if applicable):

  • Databases

  • Recommended Websites

  • Faceted Catalog Searches

  • Programs/Events

  • Classes/Courses

  • Agencies

  • "Did You Know?"

  • Additional Resources (blogs, links to PPLD resources, etc)

The Research Hot Team agreed to help me compile faceted Catalog searches for each category. AND once the subject guides are created, Adult Services staff will be assigned to categories to maintain them.

I'm very excited about this new resource. I think the new website will really benefit from subject guides. Thank goodness for the Research Hot Team!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Find a Good Book Hot Team - My Heroes!

This morning I met with our "Find a Good Book" Hot Team, which is helping me organize and layout the Find a Good Book section of our new website.

We've broken this section down into 6 sub-sections:

  1. Award Books

  2. Book Clubs

  3. Genres

  4. Interact

  5. Reading Lists

  6. Recommended Reading

Each section has a ton of resources in it, but I think we got it organized in a usable fashion. We'll do some usability testing to be sure.

It's not all completely clear, but it's a lot closer. Thank goodness for the Find a Good Book Hot Team!

Now, back to the redesign. I may actually be able to get some content in today. Shocking!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Catalog Upgrade

This past week, I've been working on customizing and styling our upgraded Catalog. We launched it yesterday and the process seemed to go pretty smoothly. The new look should compliment our redesigned website.

Staff Usability Testing

Last week we tested 4 shelvers and they had some very useful observations for the website. As a result, we made a few changes to the new web:

  • Renamed "eBooks & More" to "eBooks, eAudios, and eVideos".

  • Renamed "News and Media" to "Press Kit".

  • Renamed "Programs" to "Programs/Events" on the main navbar.

  • Added a "Did You Know?" section to About the Library.

I also learned that it's a bad idea to remove an entire block div from the tpl.php files. It's better to just remove the content div instead:

Overall, the Staff Usability Test was a success. We plan to test patrons in late March. I need to get content on the website before then.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Workflow Module - The Revenge

OK. I think I devised a workaround for the Workflow module issue I was having. Here's what I did:

  1. Created a new workflow just like the old one (well, with one less state).

  2. Edited the new workflow and didn't allow any roles to revert from published (state) to draft (state). I figure if we need to unpublish something, well, we'll unpublish it.

  3. Applied this new workflow to the necessary content types and deleted the original workflow.

Now, if I try to edit a node, it will still revert to draft. However, I think this is because it's a new workflow and it sees the node as being in "creation" state, not published state. It only does this on the initial edit. As long as I'm careful and change the state to published, I think this will be ok. Not exactly a fix, but an improvement.

It'd be great to be able to batch publish a content type, though.

I'll keep an eye on it and document any further weirdness.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Workflow Module

I've been pretty frustrated with Workflow module lately. The problem I have is when I edit a node that's already published, the workflow state of that node reverts back to draft. If I don't remember to change the state back to published, the node gets saved as draft. The most annoying part about this is, unless I check the website as an anonymous user, I don't notice the change because I'm logged in as administrator.

I'd like to be able to specify the default state of a node in edit to be its current state. For example, a published node will remain published in editing; a draft node will remain draft in editing; etc.

I've looked all over for some guidance on this problem, but no luck. I think I'm going to have to submit an issue and hope someone points me in the right direction.

I hate submitting issues because I'm always afraid I won't do a good job of describing my issue, or worse, the documentation will already exist.

Usability Testing

Yesterday we conducted a usability test "dress rehearsal", using Website Team members as the guinea pigs. The experience was very educational:

  • Mike both the moderator and the subject

  • Keep a laptop in the observation room to make emergency changes

  • Shorter is sweeter

  • If the content you are asking the subject to find doesn't exist yet, stop them and move on when they get to the empty location

  • Provide food

  • Send thank you cards

Our first "official" usability test with staff will be on Monday, February 9.

Also, we plan to set up a trial for WebTrends analytic software on Monday.

Tomorrow I am working on the Catalog upgrade.

I'm actually a bit frustrated right now, because I don't seem to have any time to actually enter content on the new website. I need to get as much content in as possible before the Find a Good Book Hot Team and Research Hot Team meetings on February 18 and 20.

On the bright side, I met with the Denver Public Library web developers for lunch yesterday. It was great to get to know them and talk about our projects. They are redesigning using Drupal as well. I can't wait to see their finished product!