At long last, here’s the final group of wireframes we’ll blog about for our site redesign project: the individual collection homepages. Here’s an annotated look at one of our current collection homepages:
The ideas in the prototypes stem from our analysis of the current site, per the following:
- Collection homepages are big attractions. How big? Our most popular collections’ homepages are visited even more often than our portal page. Other than our main library homepage and our guide to citing sources, the AdAccess, AdViews, & EAA homepages were the most-visited pages in our entire library website (from June-Dec 2009).
- From our portal page, people are 3x more likely to browse to a collection homepage than they are to do a cross-collection search.
Interviews With Collection Sponsors
- Make it clear and obvious what a user should do upon visiting. Most people either want to search or browse. Put the search & browse options front & center.
- Move the paragraphs of text to a separate ‘about’ page.
- Give a visual taste of what kinds of things are in the collection.
- Show the most popular items in each collection.
- Let people more easily browse all of the available metadata for each collection (e.g., browse all companies in an ad collection).
- Use a better combination of fonts & colors to help the pages from feeling boring.
- Give each collection more character by using graphics that enforce branding.
Feedback Forms & Other User Feedback
- Avoid the “wall of text”; make the “home page copy read more like web copy.”
- Feature timelines more prominently
- Having two search boxes (one for inter-collection & one for intra-collection searches) is confusing.
Ideas From the Implementation Team
- Build a smart template that is 1) unified enough to make collection-publishing efficient and the user experience consistent, but 2) flexible enough to allow each collection to be individually branded (if desired) and to present the most optimal arrangement of browsing options given what’s in the collection.
- Incorporate blog posts on collection homepages, so experts have the ability to write about each collection on an ongoing basis.
- Provide advanced navigation options (like linked term clouds, timelines) for all collections.
Inspiring Examples from Around the Web
What do you think? Join in the conversation here in the comments, or comment anonymously via our feedback form.