Workflow Diagrams June 21, 2009
Workflow diagrams are essential to project management. Each team member needs to know what steps are involved in the creation of this web site project, what steps are their responsibility, and who they receive and submit information to in order that each member can complete their tasks. This gives members an understanding of who they need to collaborate with more closely and who they are to report to if questions arise during the project.
A taxonomy provides your team with a visual blueprint of the number and labeling of each page within your website. This diagram shows the graphic/web-designers how many pages they need to create and the parent/child relationships between each page to create organization among the content.
Wireframes are visual representations of the organization, labeling, search, and navigation features of the intended website.
They are meant as a starting point for the graphic designer as a framework not as the set-in-stone design. Wireframes are a good tool to use to provide a client with a mock-up of website. They show the organization of the information, how users will navigate the site, the labeling of site content, and the depth or breadth of the site’s homepage.
The information architect should create the wireframe (instead of a graphic designer) because they are in charge of controlling the content of the site and how the site will work. The graphic designer should come in after this is done so that a separate eye is working on the project and able to strengthen the site’s usability with color and design. The website creation process will work more efficiently if the wireframe and design is spilt up into 2 different parts with at least 2 different sets of eyes. The information architect is able to structure the priority of the content in order to make the graphic designer’s job easier and more straight forward. This will also promote and create stronger collaboration among team members throughout the each process.
Value of Good Quality Metadata June 20, 2009
Metadata is the agents, elements, and attributes that allow your media to be descriptive and searchable.
If you only provide a few categories “agents” of information your users search will be limited or too broad. The user may not be able to find what they need if the information they are looking for is not an agent your metadata collected/provided to use for searching.
Having good quality metdata is what makes a website, database, or search engine great and user friendly. If your metadata is not comprehensive, then your users will not be able to find what they are looking for and will not return to your site.
Being able to enter multiple agents, elements, and attributes will help narrow down a user search to a manageable and useful amount of results and allow them to continue searching using the various metadata provided.
Context, Content, and Users June 17, 2009
As I work through my final project I need to work through many questions including the following:
- How is the web site currently laid out?
- What Metadata Schema do we need for Online ILL forms? Can our current CMS support these needs?
- Who will oversee the web site (site administrator)?
- What is our current ROT policy, does it need to be updated, and who is in charge of seeing that the ROT policy is carried out?
- Who will have authoring and publishing access?
- What policies are in place or need to be created regarding what content goes on the website?
- Who will train new employees about these policies and how to add content to the site?
- What do the users want to find on our site?
- What shared/common vocabulary is there between the library staff and patrons?
- Which web pages on our site get more traffic?
LibraryThing.com and Education June 14, 2009
I enjoyed playing around with the LibraryThing.com website and can see how this sort of collective intelligence can create a sense of ownership between the patrons and their library collection. This kind of buy-in, using tagging, reviews, etc… would create a very easy way to do a mapping of the materials in a library collection and help find what genres your patron’s enjoy and what genres your collection may be in need of when it comes time to add new materials to the collection. I can see that this type of collective intelligence would have been very inticing for the 3rd grades students in my classroom to use this year. It gets them involved and the time flies when you are tagging and reading other people’s reviews. I can see how this could help strengthen my students reading and writing skills by adding that oftentimes needed motivation to do the work or go above and beyond what is required for a class.