review ALA’s new proposed design

You’ve got two days. Go! I don’t want to influence your opinion much but I will tell you that I have already used the word “sadistic” once. I tend to agree with this comment on web4lib.

The review process comprises two stages. First, you’ll step through ten web pages that show and describe the proposed new graphic (visual) design of the ALA site. Each of these pages presents a type of page in the design. Each has a textual description (summary or detailed) of the page type at the top, and provides below it a screen shot of a sample page of that type.


5 thoughts on “review ALA’s new proposed design

  1. My favorite words to use were gratuitous, silly, and excessive. What a train wreck. Hey, let’s see how much stuff we can shove into fun little widgets that open and close, only to expose more that open and close. Wish I knew what they’re planning to use for search (please let it be a Google appliance), because their navigation is dreadful.

    Oops. I think I’m expressing my opinion. Sadistic is a good word, by the way, in this matter.

  2. My comments:
    1) Inconsistency – under Book & Media Awards it says “Children & Young Adults” and it says “Reference & Adult Books.” Should be “Children’s & Young Adults Books” or it should be “Reference & Adults” so as to be consistent.

    2) Blown Opportunity – under that same section the ALA misses its big chance to take away the criticism of people like me by not having a section called something like “Parental Warning” to advise parents that some awarded books may contain content inappropriate for some children but it’s up to the parents to decide that. Some warnings rarely exist, and the ALA is missing the opportunity to clarify that right up front.

    3) URLs? – I can’t tell but I sure hope the URLs have gotten a lot shorter. And it would be nice if the URLs the same whether you happen on the page or click the Cite This Page button. People use that silly template= blah blah blah link instead of using the Cite This Page link and I do not think that’s great, precisely because of changes like this proposed one may break all those old links.

  3. Overall Impressions & much of what I told ALA minus details:

    1.)I felt like I was on a government/shopping hybrid site. I do not need to see how to shop and join and otherwise give my money to ALA 2-4 times on every page. It feels cheap and desperate and commercial.

    2.) 2 full sets of banner tabs, left navigation menu, right column of hot links…and a tiny little patch of content. Comparing to the current site, it feels even more crammed with less content space. Sidebars shouldn’t go more than one sub-level deep. Here are levels upon levels and isn’t that one of the major complaints about the current site?

    3.) The right column is absolutely unnecessary in every way. All of that information can be folded into other topics or displayed on first level pages…in place of some excess graphics would be my suggestion.

    I read just this morning a post on Tame the Web called What Are They Doing Right? about a community college website with an excellent website. All points apply, but this one the most:

    “3. Use the homepage as a starting point and do not try to put everything on the homepage.”

    I hate to be so negative about it, and I did give them some features I liked, but I feel like should be copying and pasting comments from previous site redesign survey. It’s a lipstick on a pig problem. I guess, in summary, ALA designers need to revisit groupings and pare them way down, and not be so concerned about getting me to spend my money.

  4. I see evidence of what I call “Everything-has-to-be-on-the-front-page-itis.” Resolving this problem is not as easy as it sounds. You gotta make some keen decisions about who the “user” is. And every department thinks the “user” is the person who wants what they have to offer.

    No drop downs!

    Stuff ought to appear where people would expect it. There’s a lot of real estate taken up to promote jobs, when people looking for a job will pretty much find the job link where they expect it (at the bottom of the page).

    No drop downs!

    It looks like Joomla CMS.

    No drop downs!

    And no drop downs! Especially ones that obscure important left-side navigation.

  5. Hey! I will get to that as soon as I quit shootin milk out mah nose about the $600,000+ earmarked to study the ALA membership pricing structure.

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