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<meta name="description" content="Visit the new Singapore Public Library website first. The Good The Existence of 3 different libraries is now clear. I had no idea we had 3 different &hellip;">
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<time datetime="2008-04-15T00:00:00-07:00" pubdate><span class='month'>Apr</span> <span class='day'>15</span> <span class='year'>2008</span></time>
<h1 class="entry-title"><a href="/redesigned-nlb-website-review.html">Redesigned NLB website review</a></h1>
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<div class="entry-content"><p>Visit the new <a href="http://pl.sg">Singapore Public Library website</a> first.</p>
<h3>The Good</h3>
<ol><li>The Existence of 3 different libraries is now clear. I had no idea we had 3 different kinds of libraries.</li>
<li>Elimination of the drop down menu is an excellent idea. The disappearance of bread crumbs however is not so nice. It gave me a location in the website where I was in any page. </li>
<li>Didn&#8217;t even know the existence of GoLibrary, but now thanks to the effective left navigation pane, I know about it and can even go to events listed there (<a>this event</a> is especially appealing). </li>
<li>Very glad to have the <a href="http://pl.sg/page/PlSimpleHomepage">Simple Homepage</a>. Yay!</li></ol>
<h3>The Bad</h3>
<ol><li>Not sure where I am in the site (no &#8220;active&#8221; links to show where I am now on a page). Even when I click on one of the top 4 main navs (e.g. &#8220;Just Ask&#8221;)</li>
<li>Good idea to put the feeds and blogs in the main nav. But <a href="http://pl.sg/page/PlMicrositeContent/rss">feeds list</a> is not showing the links to the actual blogs/pages. I would like to see the content of each blog/page so that I know if I would like to subscribe to them or not. </li>
<li>Just share is a new feature and it is not highlighted. Rather it could be marked with a &#8220;new&#8221; so that people know that it is a new feature and take steps to find out about it. </li>
<li>Titles for <a href="http://tinyurl.com/5s37f6">NLB Blogs list</a> do not link to the blogs themselves. Only the image on the left does. I think people are most likely to click the text themselves rather than the image on the left (which frankly looks more like a bullet point than a representative icon of that blog). Even the link URL itself is not SEO friendly nor memorable (or intuitive). </li>
<li>The blog <a href="http://blogs.nlb.gov.sg/epcl/">library@esplanade</a> is listing a downloadable link with the list of new arrivals, but would it not be better to integrate it with the existing list of arrivals for the entire Public Library (in a HTML page)? As a user, I dont want to download and then look for items to borrow. I would rather do it in one shot. </li>
<li>Each page is titled Public Library, Singapore. That just simply sucks. With 4 tabs open all I can see is &#8220;Public Library, Singapore&#8221; on all tabs, and dont know which page I am exactly on! Again, really bad for SEO too!</li>
<li><a href="http://tinyurl.com/54v4yj">JUST BROWSE</a> - the very phrase brings up an image of a catalog to browse. But apparently it is supposed to hold any info about the library and stands for &#8220;browsing the site&#8221; rather than &#8220;browing the catalog&#8221;. Since it is a library site, everyone is bound to consider the later than &#8220;browsing the site&#8221;. </li>
<li>The submit button for logging in to check your account at the <a href="http://pl.sg/page/PlSimpleHomepage">simple home page</a> is woefully small. If there are elder users to the site, they will definitely have a hard time figuring out where the submit button is and <em>actually</em> clicking it. </li>
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<h3>The Ugly</h3>
<ol><li><a href="http://tinyurl.com/5buqqu">No compliance to standards!</a> The site fails validation for HTML 4.01 Strict.</li>
<li>No accessibility for blind or handicapped users. I doubt if it even passes Singapore&#8217;s own accessibility standards as laid out in WIS guidelines. For a start, none of the links in the main nav and side nav have any alternate attribute set. It does not even pass the A level accessibility compliance based on <a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/">Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0</a> (type in &#8220;http://pl.sg&#8221; <a href="http://www.tawdis.net/taw3/cms/en">here</a> and check for A level compliance). That is a big FAIL for any public service website. What is &#8220;public service&#8221; if it is not accessible to a percentage of the population (however small)? </li></ol>
<p>On the whole, I find the redesign a step in the right direction and given the huge amount of data that must have been ported, it must have been a humongous task. But it is woefully lacking in some basic standards that any public service website should pass at the minimum.</p>
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<p><img class="avatar" src="/assets/divya.png" height=50> <a href="http://twitter.com/divya">Divya Manian</a> is a Web Developer in Seattle. <a href="/about.html">More about me ❭</a></p>
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