ALA website redesign to be featured at Annual Conference

Contact: Rob Carlson
Manager of Web Development
For Immediate Release
June 5, 2007

ALA to seek input on website redesign at Annual Conference

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) will have two kiosks showcasing representative possibilities for a new website design during the 2007 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 21 – 27, 2007. Each kiosk will display wireframes (rough sketches) that are intended to gain feedback on the information architecture, navigation approach, and basic layout.

The kiosks will be located in the ALA registration area at the conference. Participants will be asked to complete an online survey to collect feedback about the new design.

All attendees are invited to participate.

Attendees may fill out surveys during these hours: Thursday, June 21, Friday, June 22: 7:30 am - 6 pm; Saturday, June 23 - Monday, June 25: 7:30 am - 5 pm; Tuesday, June 27: 7:30 am - 3 pm.

UserWorks, Inc., who is assisting ALA with this study, also has invited a number of registered attendees for one-on-one walk-through sessions of the same wireframes to gain greater insight into what people think about the potential site’s functionality.

Responses gathered from both of the above activities will be collected and analyzed by UserWorks and ALA to improve the new website design.

“This will be a great opportunity for members to participate directly in the redesign of the ALA Website,” said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. “Members will have a chance to “kick the tires” on a couple of the most promising designs, and to let us know their opinion on them before we move into the final phase of our redesign process.”

Using feedback from the conference, the final stage of activity will be completing the redesign and creating permanent mechanisms for testing and improving usability on an ongoing basis. Long-term goals include increasing interactivity and customization options, revamping the “Join ALA” and “Professional Tools” sections and creating a section for new members.

ALA began making changes to its website in the first quarter of 2007. Changes include:

*Pulled together blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, podcasts and discussion lists into a new “Read Write Connect” page

*Added committee volunteer information to create a “get involved” page

*Pulled together and increased the visibility of information on library education and careers

ALA began planning its website redesign in fall 2006 with a usability assessment, now available as a pdf, which was followed by a December 2006 planning retreat in Chicago. For more information on the website planning, visit