25 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 291 2017 experience and formal training. Lisa’s UX portfolio meant that she understood the importance of web content to users. Lisa and Judith proposed a part-time, temporary placement for Judith in ITS. Judith would devote one day a week to the website redesign project for four months to focus on the website’s content and contribute to the overall process. Our supervisors and library administration accepted the proposal and the placement began in July 2014. ITS provided a desk for Judith and she was physically present in the department during her placement day. Her home department redistributed some of her duties. Judith’s work in ITS began with a content audit of the main library website and roughly followed Rebecca Blakiston’s content strategy best practices.12 As the months progressed and the team became more integrated, Judith developed her skill set to increase her usefulness to the project. She learned to use Drupal, the library website’s content management system, allowing her to both edit content and complete more advanced content-related tasks. She also helped with user research and the usability testing Lisa was performing on alpha and beta versions of the site. Due to the early successes of the project, Judith’s time on the project was extended a further six months. Short-Term Outcomes The new website was better. We produced a beautiful website that was selected as Usable Libraries’ “Usable Library of the Month.”13 Our collaboration wasn’t the only reason the website redesign was successful, of course this was one of the first projects to implement structured UX research and methodologies at all stages of the project. The collaboration did, however, ensure that the user-focused, evidence-driven design included a content redesign. Our team received a UTL Staff Team Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) award in the Innovation category. We developed more technical skills. Our new skills freed up the developers and systems librarian to focus on the more challenging
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