Barnard Library

My Task: A Redesigned Website for a Redesigned Library

In Fall 2018, Barnard Library and Academic Information Services (BLAIS) moved to a new building and expanded to included six new teaching and learning center. At the same time, Barnard College was moving their entire web presence to a new content management system. My task was to redesign the BLAIS website to accurately reflect it's new location and services - making use of design components in the new content management system. 

My Role

  • Project Lead

  • UX Designer

  • Content Management

My Collaborators

  • Library Leadership Team

  • Content Editors

  • Barnard Communications

  • Graduate Assistants

  • Student Associates

Step 1: Reviewing the Current Site & Previous Research

Conducting a Content Audit

Our website had many editors and lacked a centralized process for approving new content or removing old content. Before deciding what content to keep and what to remove for our new site, we needed to know what content we had. So, I managed a content audit, setting up a spreadsheet and a system for student workers to log and describe our existing content. Afterwards, I reviewed the audit results with our library staff to determine the accuracy of the content.

Content Audit - Barnard LIbrary.png

Key Insights

  • Our website had a proliferation of outdated and inaccurate information.

  • Many pages lived outside of our main navigation scheme, and were impossible to find without knowing the exact URL or using Google

Research Review 

Because of the project timeline and limited resources, I wasn't able to conduct new user research at this stage of the process. However, I reviewed the results of user interviews and testing that I had conducted a few months prior for Barnard's Media Center and Design Center websites. These websites served similar purposes as the Barnard Library site - helping students understand how to access resources and services - so I was willing to assume that some of the discoveries I uncovered then would be relevant to this project as well.  

whiteboard with phrases grouped into categories and tallied

The Spoon Rating System

To help build trust and accountability, I wanted users to be able to rate ingredient swaps for others to see. Epicurious uses a four fork system for recipe ratings; to differentiate swap ratings, I creates a four spoon rating system for swaps. 

  • Create a clearer information architecture to simplify the website navigation process

  • Streamline the content strategy to convey more specific and practical information with less clutter

  • Change language and wording to avoid academic and library jargon

  • Remove inaccurate or outdated information

Goal: Make it easier for users to successfully understand and utilize library resources, whether new or old

Tactics

Step 2: Determining how to organize the data

Result

The project was shipped in November 2017! It's live on Junior Scholastic and the New York Times Upfront. The same design has also been used for Junior Scholastic's United States Atlas and Almanac.

Want to talk more about how I create educational tools?

Send me a note.