Mark, I actually wouldn't say I'm disagreeing with you (:)) or that your cynicism isn't completely justified.
Indeed, the library website redesigns always, on the whole, turned out unique (besides the common design patterns of "cluttered", "jargon-y" and "aesthetically woeful"). That being said, almost every one picked up *some* design cue from another website, whether it be verbiage, layout of search boxes, where 'contact us' should go, etc. and I imagine given the number of library websites + the number of library websites designed by "library website redesign committee" that all went through this due diligence stage, there *must* be overlaps of design cues.
That's all I'm saying - that on the aggregate, there are probably patterns, although I would not say they are necessarily coherent or even well-thought out, I think patterns would emerge.
On May 11, 2012, at 11:38 AM, Mark Jordan wrote:
> Good counter example, and I'm sure your experience is a common one. Pat's question caught me in a moment of deep cynicism -- I'm not saying there can't be library website design patters, just that libraries more often than not end up implementing new sites by reinventing the wheel, and justifying that reinvention by arguing that their local wheel needs to be a oval, not round. In fact, I'd have to ask about your experience (simply because it is probably shared by a lot of people), at the end of the process, how much of a design pattern did the implementation group infer from your study of other sites, and how much of the study focused on subjective design components like colors, fonts, and other eye candy. And how much of the study was perfunctory due diligence, performed despite the assumption that the library or the library's perceived users somehow required an oval site architecture. It's the "for whatever local reasons or biases we had" that I am cynical about.
> ----- Original Message -----
>> On May 10, 2012, at 5:49 PM, Mark Jordan wrote:
>>> Wouldn't the NIH syndrome endemic to libraries make such a set
>> But every website redesign committee I have ever sat on (which have
>> been many; since the dawn of the web -- every one a scarring
>> experience) has always started by compiling the library websites
>> (and occasionally outside of the library, but almost *always*
>> library websites) that have designs we admire or aspects that we
>> would like to emulate or incorporate.
>> Every single one.
>> I can't imagine that this phenomenon was exclusive to the three
>> universities I have worked for, which would lead me to believe that
>> *some* design patterns must show up in a significant cross-section
>> of library websites (although, like Sean, I agree that so often,
>> other website designs were rejected for whatever local reasons or
>> biases we had).
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>> So, there are a gajillion and one design pattern libraries out
>>>> anybody come across a set of design patterns focused on library