Category Archives: Academic

Presentation: Working with Users of Perceptual Disabilities At a Distance

I actually recently presented this as part of an interview, and thought it had enough new material (and not just repeating my web accessibility posts/presentations) to warrant posting it.

To give you a bit of context, the goal of the presentation was to train staff, who have no prior experience working with persons with disabilities, to provide assistance to users with “perceptual disabilities at a distance”, that is virtually or remotely. Much like the users they would serve, I also made the assumption that staff technical expertise may vary as well. Continue reading

About Us Redesign & Reorganization

The website redesign continues! Next up is the ‘About Us’ section. I find it more difficult to do sometimes, because our users don’t use the About section nearly as much, so don’t always have much of an opinion about it. Although it goes against my usual inclination, I decided to go ahead with only minimal feedback. Continue reading

Learning Management System Demo Week Notes

Ryerson is going through a public consultation for a new LMS. I mostly went to the sessions where an instructor came in to talk about their experience with a product. When that wasn’t available, I went to the vendor presentations.

Full schedule and links to the session recordings: http://lms.blog.ryerson.ca/2013/03/20/announcing-lms-demo-week/

Continue reading

Redesigning the Digital Commons Page

Recently, our team has been assisting with a new initiative to make sure documents sent in to our institutional repository (IR) are accessible. I won’t go into much detail, but since this new initiative was being launched, it was proposed to have the digital commons (our IR) page redesigned for the launch.

Old Page

The old page was really just a lot of text, and too much of it. I’m also not sure how long it had been since anyone had revised it. The biggest problem was that it was difficult to find what you wanted, especially how or where to submit a document.

Old Digital Commons Page
Old Digital Commons Page

Mockups

So the first mockup was actually given to me by the group working on the IR project. While a vast improvement over the original page, I was not a fan of the quadrant look. I’m probably biased because it was overused at my last work place, but regardless, I thought I could do better.

Mockup #1
Mockup #1

One thing that didn’t make sense to me was why you would have a link to a search page instead of just building in a search on the page (same with the news). While a search box was thought of, I’m not sure how it would’ve worked into the square design. I was actually working on the Articles redesign around the same time, so I ended up using some of the ideas I had floating around in my head already.

Mockup #2
Mockup #2

The colours I used were based on the first mockup, which were in turn based on the IR site’s colours.

Redesigned Page

The redesigned page came out pretty much exactly as the mockup. However, the project members called me the day after to tell me that the green shows as a very ugly yellow if the screen or projector is not properly calibrated. So, I ended up changing the colours to our library’s colours.

Current New Digital Commons Page
Current New Digital Commons Page

Most of the text that was on the original page is now on the About page linked from this landing page. I think it’s a huge improvement, so hopefully it helps to encourage more of our users to submit things to our IR.