Project: University of Michigan Map Library
Step #1 – Meet the Stakeholders, Understand the Parameters & Goals
Through conversations with stakeholders, I learned that the Map Library’s lack of an effective web presence was a preoccupation but had traditionally been a low priority. I also learned that the University library had recently migrated all website content to a Drupal platform and implemented a redesign to create uniformity. This revealed the main parameters of the project: 1) we had little to no control over website design and page layout, and 2) the majority of the Map Library’s website content should not require frequent updating. The main goal of the Map Library’s website was to let patrons know how cartographic materials could support their research and work, as well as provide information about access.
Step #2 – Content Inventory
My first step on this project was to create an outline of the website navigation and inventory the existing content. I found that the Map Library website had few pages, and discovered through conversations with staff members that many more pages had been created for the Map Library but were orphaned (i.e. could not be navigated to via the Map Library’s website).
Step #3 – Competitive Analysis
Next I reviewed the websites of the other campus libraries, as well as those of map libraries at other universities. After gathering ideas for possible new content areas from these websites, I reviewed the list with the Map Librarian.
Step # 4 – Create New Website Structure
Based on the Map Librarian’s feedback, I created a site map of a proposed website navigation and got it approved.
Step #5 – Move & Refresh Existing Content
I then moved the existing content to the corresponding page, while verifying that it was current and testing hyperlinks. I determined that two tutorials were better suited for being Research Guides, and moved them to this format. I also linked all orphaned pages to the website.
Step #6 – Create New Content
The last step was to work with the Map Library staff to create new content, while working toward shifting the culture toward using the website as a promotional tool.
Step #7 – Add Images
The library staff find the new website design pretty visually uninteresting, so I got creative. I added small image slices to the homepage, and created image banners for other pages using Illustrator.