The Libraries have just released a new website, marking the first significant upgrade of the web portal in well over a decade.
The redesign is long overdue and represents a first attempt to comprehensively evaluate the site’s historical content, some of which is residual from early adoption of the internet by the General Libraries in the mid-late 1990s.
The website refresh has been under consideration for some time, but was urged along when the Senate of Student Councils made a detailed formal request for site improvements in January, 2016. Production of the new site began in February of this year, and was managed through an iterative, evolutionary project development process called Agile.
What’s new and improved:
- Responsive design – the new site adjusts to the screen size of the user’s device.
- Efficient browsing and search – clearer language for navigation, and a house-cleaning that cuts down on the bloat of a 6,000+ page site will make use of the site more efficient.
- Homepage refresh – aligns with campus-wide standards to create consistency of user experience across the university web platform.
- Updated location pages – consistency across the dedicated pages for branch locations will increase the ease of use while also allowing for customization of services and resources.
- Expanded equipment pages – more information about creativity and productivity tools on hand for checkout or use onsite, with specs, access and availability information.
- New “space” pages — specialized study, creativity and productivity spaces throughout the Libraries are now discoverable and browseable with information on capacity and availability.
- Improved “Hours” interface – up-to-date information on location and service hours available in multiple locations to make planning a visit easier.
- Sustainability – streamlined production process will result in constant improvements to the website based on user behavior and feedback.
- Task-orientation – the new architecture focuses on helping users get work done more efficiently by increasing the integration of services, resources, spaces and expertise.
The new website will be available in parallel to the legacy site through the remainder of the fall semester, accessible via a pop-up at lib.utexas.edu, followed by a full launch with expanded features — including “unified search” — in early January.
NOTE: On January 4th, 2018, the URL for the Libraries new website will change to www.lib.utexas.edu and contents of the existing site will be moved to legacy.lib.utexas.edu. Users will be able to reach pages from the old site with outdated links by changing “www” in the target URL “legacy.” This change will likely have some effects for online users and there are plans to frequently communicate about any changes that may impact user experience.