Tag Archives: Teams

LIS Website – Student Survey Results & Recommendations

I’ve compiled the results from the LIS Website Team’s survey of LIS students workers where we asked about familiarity with areas of the LIS website and knowledge of web technologies. This was a shorter survey than the staff version with 20 students responding to the 2009 version and 17 completed 2010 surveys. Before I present the results of the student survey, I want to share my recommendations based on the results of both surveys. These are just my initial thoughts. The LIS Website Team will compile its recommendations based off this data, the comments included with both surveys, and usability testing we’re conducting this month.

[Reminder: If you want to participate in usability testing, reply to the all-campus email that was sent Wednesday, April 7 with the times when you would be available.]

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LIS Website – Staff Survey Results

Thanks to all the LIS staff who responded to the LIS Website Team’s survey! There were 63 responses to our 2009 survey, prior to the redesign of the LIS Website, and 24 responses to our more recent survey, after the launch of the new site. In this post, I will share some of the results of these surveys and compare the feedback between the two surveys. I’ll discuss the student survey in another post.

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Process for nominating and selecting digitization projects

The Digital Archives Team was charged with, among other things, creating a process for prioritizing digitization efforts.

We have conceived of a process through which Middlebury College community members can propose LIS resources for digitization, and also conceptualized a committee that would evaluate those proposals and prioritize projects.

The first step is the nomination of a project.  This can be done by a curator of a collection or any faculty or staff member or student who feels an LIS resource should be digitized.   The form for nominating such a project is here and we would like to get feedback on it from anyone who has it to offer.  The final version would presumably be a web-based form, but this would be up to the committee.

Here are the guidelines we suggest the committee use to evaluate nominated projects.  Numerical points (on a scale to be established by the committee) would be assigned to each element.  (The guidelines will be made available to nominators so they are aware of the judging criteria when they fill out their nomination form.)

Please pass along your thoughts either in a comment here or email me at holzapfe AT midd….

Supported Web Browsers

For an updated list of currently supported browsers, see the Web Application Development website.

I was asked as a member of the LIS Website Team to put together a quick post on supported web browsers for our site. In general our guideline for supporting a browser is to keep support for it for as long as the browser’s manufacturer is supporting it. This means we will try our best to resolve issues with any browser that you can readily download from a manufacturer’s site, except for beta and pre-release versions.

These guidelines apply only to services supported by the Web Application Development workgroup. Other workgroups may have their own guidelines, for example Internet Explorer 7 is the supported browser for Internet Native Banner users.

These are the versions we support at the time of this post:

With the exception of Internet Explorer, each of these browsers have both Mac and PC versions.

I’m using internet explorer, which version should I use?

We recommend that none of our users browse the site with IE 6, but the browser still accounts for about 6.5% of our site’s traffic and we try to make sure that the site is mostly working for these users. If you are on-campus, your machine should have received an automatic update recently to move you to IE7, if you hadn’t applied that upgrade already. If you are on-campus and still using IE 6, contact the Helpdesk so your machine can be updated.

Most of the site’s features and visuals are the same in IE 7 and IE 8, but IE 8 does have a better rendering engine and will be able to support more features going forward. Users of Internet Native Banner should stay on IE 7, since that is the most recent version of Internet Explorer supported for use with INB. Others may choose to upgrade to IE 8.

What about older versions of Firefox?

The Mozilla Foundation makes available all older versions of the Firefox browser, but after a certain time stops applying security and stability updates to the browser. When that stops, it makes sense for us to stop supporting the browser for viewing and editing the site. Firefox is updated more frequently, and iteratively than Internet Explorer, making changes between its versions less severe and allowing site functionality to continue working in most cases. For this reason, we recommend always applying the updates to Firefox and sticking with the most recently released version.

There are specific issues with Firefox 3.0 that we know about on the site and are unlikely to resolve. If you’re using Firefox 3.0, please upgrade to one of the more recent versions.

Is there a different list of supported browsers for editing www.middlebury.edu?

In theory, no. We would very much like the editing experience to be the same across all of the browsers listed above. However, we are beholden to using a WYSIWYG editor that is known to have a few quirks in certain browsers. We are planning to upgrade the version of this editor shortly to address some of these issues, but need to make certain that modifications to it to allow you to browse for files in the site still work in the new version.

We don’t block you from using any browser to edit the site, but some people have noticed intermittent quirks when editing in Internet Explorer and Safari. At this time, we recommend that editors use Firefox since we have not heard of editing issue with this browser and it’s part of the default distribution package.

What about beta and pre-release browser versions?

You’re welcome to use these, and they may work, but we will not respond to bug reports about site functionality not working in a beta version of a browser. These are often caused by issues with the browser that are addressed before its final version is released and third-party systems like WordPress and Drupal will often release their own fixes to these issues when the final version of a browser is released. It’s not efficient for us to spend time addressing these issues as well.

This recently came up because the WordPress editing interface didn’t work in a development version of Google Chrome. The issue was resolved several days later in a new development build of the browser and is likely not something we would have been able to resolve. In circumstances like these, we recommend using one of the supported browser versions instead until the development version is updated to fix the issue.

I’m using one of the supported versions, but there’s an issue. What can I do?

People with a Middlebury College account can submit a bug report. This system allows us to communicate back-and-forth with you and gives you a view of the issue through a web interface. If you don’t have a Middlebury account, you can submit the Web Feedback form and we’ll get in touch with you via email.

If I haven’t answered your question here, leave a comment.

Thank you LIS staff!

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It takes a village to raise a web presence and at Midd over 295 people helped create the new College website. Many of those were LIS staff. Almost every person in LIS touched a part of our new LIS web presence, a truly collaborative effort! Individuals, teams, work groups and areas across LIS pulled together to make it happen – all in a very short time frame with reduced budgets and staffing resources.

LIS staff created content and navigation using three different platforms, Drupal, Mediawiki and WordPress, to create a web presence to meet the diverse needs of our user community and to also represent all of us in LIS.

People who worked on the Drupal platform to create the LIS web pages, Help and Support, Library, and LIS Landing, include Joe Antonioli, Kellam Ayres, Mary Backus, Jim Beauchemin, Doreen Bernier, Bryan Carson, Alex Chapin, Sue Driscoll, Brenda Ellis, Peggy Fischel, Adam Franco, Daniel Frostman, Arabella Holzapfel, Jess Isler, Richard Jenkins, Jeffrey Lahaie, Mike Lynch, Carrie Macfarlane, Rachel Manning, Ian McBride, Barbara Merz, Ben Molberger, Chris Norris, Joy Pile, Hans Raum, Jeff Rehbach, Mack Roark, Danielle Rougeau, Mike Roy, Lynn Saunders, Terry Simpkins, Marcy Smith, Joe Toth, Elin Waagen, Joseph Watson, Andy Wentink and Liz Whitaker-Freitas.

Countless others, including some LIS student employees, have helped create content and documentation in WordPress and Mediawiki. They include Adam Franco, Alex Chapin, Andy Wentink, Arabella Holzapfel, Barbara Merz, Ben Molberger, Brenda Ellis, Brendan Owens, Brendan Smith, Brian Foley, Bryan Carson, Carol Peddie, Carrie Macfarlane, Cynthia Slater, Cynthia Watters, Daniel Frostman, Danielle Rougeau, Dean Cadoret, Doreen Bernier, Elin Waagen, Liz Whitaker-Freitas, Gary Weiss, Hans Raum, Ian McBride, Jim Beauchemin, Jean Simmons, Jeff Rehbach, Jess Isler, Joe Antonioli, Joe Toth, Joseph Watson, Joy Pile, Judy Watts, Kellam Ayres, Linda Knutson, Lisa Terrier, Lynn Saunders, Mack Roark, Marcy Smith, Peggy Fischel, Marlena Evans, Marty New, Mary Backus, Mike Lynch, Mike Roy, Michael Warner, Nancy Reynolds, Nate Burt, Patty Hornbeck, Petar Mitrevski, Phil Gullion, Rachel Manning, Richard Jenkins, Shawn O’Neil, Shel Sax, Steve Bertolino, Sue Driscoll, Terry Simpkins, Todd Sturtevant, and Travis Stafford.

If I have omitted anyone – please excuse the oversight – and let me know!

In addition, I’d like to thank Mike Roy, Mary Backus, Terry Simpkins, Carol Peddie, Jeff Rehbach and Shel Sax for their support of the work of the Web Team, critical to the success of both the process and the end result. A special thanks to Jeff Rehbach, our fearless and supportive team sponsor.

This post would not be complete without a HUGE thanks to the members of the LIS Web Team – Jess, Ian, Jim, Liz, Carrie, Doreen, and Barbara for their tireless dedication to the project. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to work and learn with them.

The web team could not possibly have orchestrated this project without the support and hard work of so many! The LIS web presence is a work in progress and will continue to evolve and grow with the help of all LIS staff, and our work together will give our users not only the best possible web experience, but will also be a shining indication of all the good work that we do in LIS.
A BIG thanks to you all!

LIS Website Banner Image

Each department and office site will have a banner image which identifies it. For the sites managed by people in LIS (the Library, Helpdesk, Curricular Technology, Telephone Services, etc.) the LIS Website Team decided that each site should use a banner image that identifies it as part of LIS which, when clicked, will bring the user back to the LIS landing page. Pam Fogg in College Communications prepared some examples of this graphic. These aren’t the final versions (they need a bit of touch up work), but they’re very close.

Which should we use?

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Preview of Next Version of Shadowbox Theme

I attended part of the LIS website team meeting today and gave a presentation of the ShadowBox theme and some of the new features that will be available in the next version including updates to author pages, more custom header options and most importantly, higher contrast text in comment fields.  I also gave a preview of some new ShadowBox variations based on the new college website design.  Below is a screencast from that meeting: