In September 2019, Digital Strategies implemented a typography refresh for all Vanderbilt websites, introducing improvements such as larger, simpler fonts and increased content area width in order to stay current with modern web trends.
On Tuesday, January 21 LTDS will apply these changes to the Libraries’ public website. In addition to the changes provided by this refresh, we’ve taken the opportunity to refine certain page elements, such as the right sidebar you see on the Heard and division homepages. Here are a couple of preview shots:
As always, please let us know if you have any questions or comments.
Thanks to all who attended our June update session yesterday! Jodie presented some web statistics trivia questions, and a good time was had by all. You can find the slides in the LTDS SharePoint site in our Training Materials and Presentations folder (VUnetID login required). If you have any follow-up questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Yesterday morning, we received several reports that the library website wasn’t functioning properly — there were missing menus and scary error messages. No one on our team had made any changes to the site, though — so what happened?
Well, over in another part of the university, the server that hosts the university calendar system went offline. The library website pulls our events lists from this system every time you visit a library homepage. So, when the library website tried to find the events lists, there was nothing there…so the library website said, STOP! I cannot do anything else until I find the events! (not unlike my 2-year-old kid 😅), and it stopped loading the page midway-through.
Once we identified the issue, we removed all events boxes as a temporary measure. Later in the day, we were able to put in a code fix that tells the library website to keep on going, even if it doesn’t find any events. (Ditto Recent Library News items, which pulls from the Library News Online site.)
Even better, we were able to share our solution with the university’s web department, who then implemented the fix in the main university website. More stable sites for all!
The library website is getting a new look! The Web Refresh Team, including Jodie and Matt from LTDS, is working with Vanderbilt’s Digital Strategy and Development (formerly Web Communications) to integrate the current standard Vanderbilt web templates into the library website. To get a taste of what those templates look like, check out the HR, Registrar, or Police Department sites. The refresh will roll out in conjunction with the new ILS this summer.
The Web Refresh Team has been hard at work since November. We have viewed and analyzed many peer library websites, analyzed past feedback on our website, and even had some fun sketching out our own visions of a library website! We are currently gathering more feedback via an online survey and focus groups. We are also preparing to make a copy the current website so we can start working on the new site without interrupting service to the current site.
Bonus: The Staff Directory is also getting some TLC! Some of the improvements will be implemented ahead of the refresh, such as improving parts of the search and browse. Others will roll out with the refreshed website, such as more useful lists of branches/departments with improved layouts, and enhanced pages for individual staff members. Stay tuned for more information on this sub-project.
If you have any questions about these projects, please comment below or talk to any member of the Web Refresh Team.