The Caltech Library has undergone a year-long makeover and we’re ready for our close-up with the new website redesign that launches this week.
Over the past academic year, the Library has implemented significant changes to the services we offer our patrons. In the fall 2021 term, the Library debuted LibSearch, a new catalog that brought together most of the library’s collections into a single interface, including books, ebooks, journal articles, Archives, repositories like CaltechAUTHORS, and more. Once that project was up and running, it was time to make the rest of the Library website equally efficient and responsive—not to mention attractive.
Since the beginning of 2022, our website redesign team—project manager Melissa Johnson (who also helped manage the LibSearch implementation), programming lead Tommy Keswick, and design lead Chris Daley—have been building the new website from the ground up. Now we’re pleased to share the streamlined and stylish results. We invite patrons to explore the new website’s best features:
The team restructured the organization of our previous website with a focus on action-based menu categories, informed by user testing with Caltech students and faculty. We now have five main color-coded categories that make our services and resources easier to find and discover. The team also added landing pages at each subsection that orient patrons with brief descriptions of what they will find there.
The integration of the Caltech Archives & Special Collections into the Library platform, when they previously had a stand-alone website, was an exciting and overdue development. The Caltech Archives is now part of the Library web ecosystem and its new home features improved architecture and aesthetics.
The team approached the redesign of our previous website with an eye to making it both easy and enjoyable to use. Images, colors, typeface, and graphics were chosen or modified to make the website more visually pleasing. An improved mobile design also enhances the user experience.
The Library seeks to promote equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging for all members of the Caltech community in all of our collections and services. With these goals in mind, the website redesign team considered improved accessibility at every step of the process. The team also redesigned the home page to allow the Library to share more news, events, and featured resources.
An extensive “spring cleaning” content audit of over 500 pages reduced redundancy and complexity, integrated Library research guides with webpages, and fortified our search results to fully include databases, FAQs, site info, and research guides.
Choosing the LibGuides content management system improved efficiency for our Library staff due to integration with other Springshare products we already used. We also simplified content editing due to reduction from three disparate web content systems to the one we now present to our patrons.
Once the switchover is complete, we welcome you to wobble ‘round the site with joy. Please feel free to share feedback or report any problems to firstname.lastname@example.org.