Wadsworth Library Website
This site was done while I was the in-house designer at the Wadsworth Public Library. I featured it here, because this site is a great example of the type of complex webpage that many organizations need. Modified to fit the demographic requirements of the Wadsworth community, I made heavy use of image links and navigation bars to present the massive amounts of information in an easy to understand way.
- Community Oriented
- Complex Structure
- Multiple Applications
In addition to the main website, there are many internal and external applications that the library’s patrons could make use of to register for programs, communicate with the library, or get more information from databases.
- Custom Mobile Site
- Unique Visual Look
- Multiple Authors For Content
- Spam Comment Blocking
- Interactive Menu Elements
- Strong Images Before The Fold
- Intuitive Navigation
- Integrated Social Media
- Integrated Videos
Built to accommodate the audience
Who is the site for?
We had to consider the demographic of Wadsworth, Ohio and the distinct communities we needed to serve. People looking to use the library’s tangible services, teen and children looking for applications, students looking for access to online databases, and community members the library provided information for.
A Good Starting Point
One of the design analogies we used for the main page was a newspaper. We needed to provide a way for users to find the information they needed but also showcase elements of importance. What was most important? What would repeat visitors need? What would be the best way to get people where they needed?
We decided to structure the main page with traditional links as well as image links that pointed out the most used resources. I subcontracted an artists I had worked with on other projects and built some images froms tock photography. It gave us some very good image resources to use throughout the site.
Front Page Structures
The front page had to provide a lot of information. So, we determined the best ways to present that information and keep it as clean looking as we could.
Front and center on the page is a featured slider that the marketing manager could make use of to promote events. Creating slides, she could use the backend architecture to update the information and slides as easy as uploading new images.
RSS Feeds On The Main Page
Pulling from the Evanced calendar system the library integrated, we displayed the newest events on the page so that library patrons could find out what programs we were holding. The blog articles that librarians would write were also pulled in and displayed, ensuring a constantly up to date front page.
A Standard Sidebar
A standard sidebar had to be above the fold, so we created a sidebar that would accordion out with subsections and contained distinctly styled elements that matched the library’s colors.
Social Media and Dynamic Hours
I built in simple links to the library’s social media presence and created a dynamic program that pulled the hours from a calendar on the internal side of the website. The regular hours would display, but updating the calendar with new hours or adding a holiday to it would change the display message for that week.
like the Teen department required a different design. While I created Teen versions of many of the same front page structures, I also included tools structures that the teen librarians could update themselves. Things like their Cool Stuff video picks, their Hot Book book reviews, the comments from their facebook page, and a featured slider of their own programs.
The teen librarian also wanted a different look and style that would speak more to the teens. Going back to my aritst, we created graphics specific to the Teen section and reworked the colors, dynamically implementing them on those pages only.
Different Needs …
were fulfilled with each department’s sections. The Children’s department needed something easy and fun to use for their youngest patrons. I created many structures within the Children’s pages that utilized more graphically heavy elements and rethought navigation structures.
While the children enjoyed the many games we collected and offered, we also built many pages within the Children’s section to help parents directly. Pages like the booklists and book reviews, and the reading program apps that tracked summer reading programs and had each child who had participated the year before per-registered. I worked closely with the Children’s librarians to make sure their goals were met as well as considering what the parents would need and what the children who used the site would most appreciate.
A Mobile Presence
I built many programs and internal structures to suit the diverse needs of the library’s departments. One new demographic I helped the library serve was mobile users. I built a separate mobile website that contained key features of the main site, staying up to date with all information there, and created a new way for patrons to access their library accounts from their mobile devices.
Throughout My Tenure
I enjoyed the many diverse and interesting programs I got to build while working at the Library. My time there was a good way to stretch my experiences and serve a client that needed a facelift from the dated web presence and increased functionality in their online services offered. Since I left in 2013, the website has been taken over by other tech staff members and changed in many ways, but I’m glad to have been a part of creating the base structures and updating the previous site.