This is a request for suggestions/posts/links you've found useful.
Inspired by a University web redesign, a few of us in the Library are beginning to investigate "pattern-libraries" to help us make and keep the look & feel of our disparate systems more in-sync with one another. (Beyond the informal work-practices we currently use.)
A couple questions...
To those of you that use, or have experimented with pattern-libraries, or something similar...
- Are they used widely across the different library systems you have?
- Do you as developers, designers, etc embrace their use? Chafe under perceived constraints?
- Are there "hierarchies" of adherence? i.e. do you try to 'mandate', say, the header & footer, while leaving other elements more customizable? Or does that unnecessarily invite chaos?
A related but different thing I'm curious about...
Say you have some 'canonical Library elements', like a main Library header and footer. Our developer group can see, and has experienced, benefits and drawbacks of having our different systems directly point to these canonical web-accessible elements -- vs 'ingesting' them into our different systems.
The direct-point/load method makes it easier to disseminate updates across disparate systems. But we've also experienced such updates breaking things downstream -- so in some rails/django development, we 'ingest' the canonical html/css into our different web-applications, thereby 'protecting' them, but making updates more manual and slower.
Other related issues y'all have grappled with? Thanks in advance.
PS -- in searching through the archives, I remembered this interesting thread on "Usability and A/B test results clearinghouse" <https://lists.clir.org/cgi-bin/wa?A1=ind1901&L=CODE4LIB#120> -- but this topic feels different.
Birkin James Diana
Digital Technologies Developer
Brown University Library
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