We are very excited to announce the CUL staff preview release of the redesigned Libraries' website, http://preview-library.cul.columbia.edu/. The site is being released for Libraries & Information Services staff to preview the new design, to see some of the new functionality we are building into the site, and to provide us with feedback. We are looking forward to continuing to improve the navigation and structure in response to feedback and usability testing over the next three months. In May staff will be able to begin editing, updating and changing their pages in the new site in preparation for the public launch in June.
The Preview Site is not a complete website and will continually be changed and updated as we work on incorporating new functionality and bring in new content. Please see our blog page listing known issues with the preview site.
We welcome your feedback. Please use the form for Suggestions & Feedback (linked to from the Help menu in the upper right, from the Quicklinks drop-down in the upper left, and from the footer of every page) to let us know what you think!
Please be aware that the Preview Site is not our fully functioning public website and is not ready to be shared publicly.
Thank you for all of your support while we've been working toward this. We are excited to share it with you and get your feedback.
Many of the reasons that we are making these changes are outlined in this blog on the About and Design Principles tabs. This is a quick list that might be useful when explaining the reasons for the upcoming changes to our end users:
- First and foremost, we are redesigning and improving the website in response to feedback from and information from our users. We have spent several years conducting assessments, and compiling and analyzing data to better understand those needs.
- Users are beginning to work in multiple environments and on a variety of platforms, and our site needs to be responsive to those environments. We’ve redesigned the site so that it is responsive to the size of the screen you are viewing it on, and so that the navigation and functionality are not lost when you are using it via a touch-screen.
- By updating the site to be responsive to multiple devices and to comply with new coding standards (HTML5 and CSS3 if you are interested in that sort of thing), we are able to make sure the site works in current browsers.
- Using a more standard grid-based and user-centered design framework will allow us to respond to changing user needs more quickly and to improve the consistency of our site both internally and across browsers and devices.
- The new design will allow us to more efficiently and effectively respond to user needs and feedback, and to more easily enhance the user experience. It will offer us more opportunities to effectively engage the university community.
As you are aware, we have postponed the relaunch of Library Web/CLIO from its initial proposed launch in mid-January. Our new target launch date for both projects is early June. The new launch timeline allows the opportunity for for more adequate assessment of the new site structure, important technical improvements that result from assessment, communication and training opportunities for staff and faculty, and a marketing awareness campaign to highlight the site changes and encourage Columbia community input throughout the process. While CLIOBeta is, and will continue to be available for testing and use, you will receive communication about the Library Web preview site early next week.
A detailed Assessment & Communications plan provides more details about the scope and phases of the plan. We have also provided an overall timeline for the relaunch on the blog and as a PDF.