Welcome to the Byte Blog where we share our thoughts on design, technology, and occasionally, cats.
Libraries are of course a major focus here at Byte, and working with librarians is a great pleasure because they’re highly organized, they understand how content works and they’re strongly patron and community focused. We especially loved working with the good people at the West Bend Community Memorial Library (WBCML) because they’re highly inclusive and strive to communicate effectively with patrons with a wide variety of needs and interests. WBCML has an art space, a digital creation lab (held in a clock tower, I assume just underneath the dragons), a puzzle and magazine exchange, and smart ways of helping patrons using kits and shelf collections that are convenient and inspiring for many audiences.
Part of the process of making the best possible website is doing a bit of homework before we start even a wireframe or design of a site. We need to understand who the users are, and what they need, and then how the content will work to service all users. Every community and therefore every library is different, and the librarians at WBCML helped us really understand their needs through their user segments and use cases homework, and we learned how to make that home a little easier via upgrading our old-fashioned paper worksheets.
We also saw the design a little differently with this website. Normally once we understand the users and goals of a website and work through a content strategy, we wireframe and design and find the perfect look, make sure everyone loves it, and then move on to development. This site wasn’t so linear, we found ourselves reworking design as we found out more how the content would work on the design. When I look at the site now, I see even more I’d like to finesse, and WBCML has been gracious to let us keep carving on the design far past the usual process.
All this work has paid off handsomely. I believe the site we put live is worthy of the great community library that is WBCML. The site has enough nuance to serve a wider set of patrons, is exceedingly simple to use, and lets WBCML’s librarians communicate better than ever before.
Check out the site: https://www.westbendlibrary.org/