Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to participate in the Libraries’ Job Enrichment Program with the Software Systems Development and Research (SSDR) department in McKeldin.
After building a web site for a class I took at the journalism school, I had become more interested in the nuts and bolts of responsive design, and the Job Enrichment Program was a great opportunity to learn more.
Here are some of the key things I got to learn about:
- The complexity of our web presence – Seeing what goes into our web site gave me an appreciation for the expertise needed to keep our web presence up-to-date, especially as our mobile presence becomes more important to both users and to Google’s search rankings. I learned about Hippo’s role as the Libraries’ CMS and how it manages the code that delivers a device-driven layout. I also learned how a feature-rich Bootstrap template helps determine a site’s look and feel.
- Web development workflow – Having served on the Web Advisory Committee (WAC) for the last year and a half, it was very informative seeing how recommendations from our committee are prioritized and implemented by SSDR staff. During the program, I got experience 1) documenting key site features that needed to be translated to the new responsive site 2) creating site mockups for the Libraries’ main page and 3) working within SSDR’s workflow management software and process.
- Responsive Design layout decisions – Part of my job enrichment experience also included going through Lynda.com lessons focused on designing sites within the Bootstrap framework. These lessons and exercises helped me get a hands-on understanding of Bootstrap’s grid-based system which helps determine a web site’s layout.
- Creating a code library – I also got to help expand a code library that will support the rollout of the Libraries’ new site in 2016, particularly with the implementation of multimedia elements. The code library will allow website editors to quickly grab Hippo-friendly HTML code and add multimedia elements – image sliders, image tiles, breadcrumbs, and more – to their web sites.
- Future possibilities – While managing social media channels doesn’t often require the creation of new web sites, I am starting to see how a multimedia-rich responsive site could add a lot of value to our online outreach efforts. Understanding the basic building blocks of the new responsive site has helped me see the potential for projects that integrate our site with social media outreach efforts.
Overall, the Job Enrichment program was a great introduction to SSDR’s work delivering our digital resources to library users, and I’d definitely recommend the program to others.
Social Media & Community Engagement Coordinator