Re-Imagining the Library Website Experience

The UNC team shared the process of redesigning the UNC’s library web site at the Computers in Libraries 2014. They set out their goals: discover, access, services, branding and device neutrality. They focused on the user’s wish list: search, hours, contact info, place to study, renew books. They chose WordPress as a platform. They had 40 people, including 4 developers and 20 plus content contributors, involved in the redesign projects. The most impressive accomplishments was reducing their contents from 10,182 HMTL pages to 250.

I ran the homepage to YSlow and it received a “D” for its performance. I took a look at the codes and the amount of CSS, JavaScripts and inline CSS are overwhelming. Sites like this showed that WordPress is getting as worse as Drupal. WordPress’s ease of use comes with a price. Slapping a responsive theme and throw more CSS on top isn’t the way to go. The UNC team didn’t seem to take performance into consideration for this project.