What kinds of conversations can you have?

Some pretty neat ones.

I quickly posted on January 29th, “What are they doing right?” It was about the MCCL homepage. Which led to some lively comments. Some liked it. Some pointed to areas that needed improvement. Lisa, the web designer for the MCCL site responded about the design. Then something neat happened, one of the commentors, Brad, made a mock-up of the site as he saw it. Whether you agree with the new mock-up or the original site the larger point is: you’ve just seen how being transparent, being willing to do work and being willing to share ideas can lead in entirely new directions. Let’s not forget the speed at which this was done. It doesn’t take forever to get feedback on any kind of design you want to implement. Feedback is part of your project, right?

Brad wanted to expand his thoughts. Maybe Lisa will look at those ideas and use some. Maybe she won’t. But, at the very least some fertile web design conversation has happened. Even if only for me. Imagine if this was a larger project. Can we see how allowing people to comment & share generates new and interesting results? Are these lessons we can use within our own libraries? How much untapped talent could we harness by forming collectives for work on databases, OPACs, or websites? Share your work with your colleges. It makes you stronger.

I’m very impressed by both web pages. I’m impressed by everyone who slowed down to think about what they liked or didn’t like about library homepages. Furthermore, I’m impressed by the large amount of talent in the information landscape. Sometimes you can feel like a target, completely overlooked, or entirely mis-understood online, so I thank Brad and Lisa for engaging in a great dialog and helping other professionals think about what works, what doesn’t and why.

Checkout the original and the mock-up.

-TTW Contributor: Lee LeBlanc.