Background

At every phase of the website redesign project we have asked for your participation and feedback. Based on your feedback we have launched a website that:

  • is highly accessible to all of our patrons
  • has an intuitive interface and logical structure
  • has integrated search results 
  • makes it easier to discover our many offerings
  • provides easy access to online resources and digital media

We will continue to evolve the site as we learn how people are using it, so tell us what you think.
 


Read on to find out more about this project and how you helped.

Phase 1: Discovery

July - December 2016

What we did:

  • Full-day kickoff including workshops with Library staff and leadership.
  • Content audit and analysis to help us plan for the redesigned site
  • Interviews with key Library stakeholders to help define the goals for the site
  • Review of analytics to understand what website users do on the site

How you helped:

  • Online survey (in English, Amharic, Chinese, Russian, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese) with over 8,000 responses from the public to help us understand current website usage
  • In-depth conversations with patrons at Central Library to understand how they find information on the existing website
  • Over 400 feedback forms submitted at Library branches to help us understand what our patrons want and expect from the website

What we heard from you:

  • Language on the website should be clear and accessible
  • Each page should serve a clear purpose and have a single call to action
  • The new site should be organized based on key tasks and how people expect to perform them
  • It should be easy to find basic information like branch hours

Phase 2: Information Architecture and Design

January - July 2017

What we did:

  • Testing of current site structure to determine how users expect to find information
  • Revised sitemap to organize content in a logical way
  • Wireframes of key pages to determine how content will be organized on different page types
  • Initial exploration of the visual "look and feel" for the redesigned site
  • UW capstone project to help understand why people use (or don't use) the website

How you helped:

  • Online Treejack study with existing site structure to help us understand where people expect to find information
  • Online card sort activity to find the right categories for the new site navigation
  • Online Treejack study with new site structure to make sure it is easy to find information
  • Interviews with patrons in branches in every region of Seattle to understand their reasons for using (or not using) the website, conducted by a UW student as part of a capstone project
  • Wireframe testing with patrons at Columbia and Broadview branches to see how people would expect to complete certain tasks on the redesigned site
  • Accessibility testing for blind and low vision patrons

What we heard from you:

  • Site structure should be clear and easy to navigate
  • It should be easy for you to discover programs, services and events you may not know about
  • Search functionality is key for many patrons
  • Accessibility is a key consideration as we move into design

Phase 3: Front-End Development

August - September 2017

What we did:

  • Built html pages for 25 page types
  • Handed off front-end code to back-end development team
  • Accessibility testing for blind and low vision patrons

How you helped:

  • Over 400 people gave feedback and completed a survey after viewing our sneak peek video

What we heard from you:

  • The redesigned site should follow current best practices for accessibility, and our developers have created code that does so
  • Most people who viewed the sneak peek video liked or loved the new designs, indicating that we should move ahead with developing pages as designed
  • Our new designs should not interfere with how people use our catalog

Phase 4: Implementation and Launch

October 2017 - April 2018

What we did:

  • Our CMS/development partner built our new content management system
  • We moved our web content to the new, fully responsive site
  • We tested each page and fixed bugs as needed
  • All new page designs and email templates were tested for accessibility and meet our standard for ADA compliance

How you helped:

  • During the public beta many of you tried out the new site, and we received feedback from over 150 people.

What we heard from you:

  • Comments during the beta period were largely positive:
  • "I really like the new website! I think it is laid out well and it is easy to find the information that I was looking for and I learned some other ways to use the library as a resource that I hadn't realized before."
  • "I think the new website is visually appealing and much easier to navigate. Thank you."
  • "Wonderful!! So much information packed into the site and I can use my phone to browse."

If you have a question or need help, Ask Us or call 206-386-4636.