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Web Presence Update: Logos, Personas, and Pillars

ASIS&T’s staff members and the Web Presence Task Force remain very busy on the Web redesign front. As chair, I wanted to share some updates and get some feedback from our members and readers. I’ll start with our two visual options, and proceed to the content workshop we completed on August 1.

Our visual design options (or, the part of a website that we all love to debate!)

Val Head has been hard at work developing a new visual identity for ASIS&T. Now that we’ve been through a couple of design iterations, I’m thrilled to present our two options to you! Below, you’ll find two options. Each option includes a logo, a typeface, favicons, and an associated color palette.

Please share your thoughts about the two designs in the comments section.

Direction 1: “An academic tone with friendly open spacing and an energetic palette” direction 1


direction 2

Direction 2: “Connected letters for an inclusive feel with a hint at handwriting and warm but limited palette”


What do you think? Do you prefer Direction 1? Direction 2? Some combination of the two? Neither one? Both? Let us know in the comments. We need to make this decision soon, so please share your thoughts as quickly as possible!

August 1 workshop: Content strategy

On August 1, I joined ASIS&T staff members Dick Hill, Jan Hatzakos, and Vanessa Foss at the ASIS&T Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, for a content strategy workshop.  Project lead Kevin M. Hoffman of Seven Heads Design as well as Ahava Liebtag and Talia Eisen from the Aha Media Group were there to guide us. It was a busy day filled with hard work and insight. It was also something of a pilgrimage for me as a hopelessly devoted ASIS&T member. I took this photo upon entering the building:

hq sign

I spent a night in downtown Silver Spring. It has a relatively lively atmosphere, or at least it has a nice selection of places to eat and drink. I hung out with Kevin and some of his friends at a tapas bar, which is when I met Thomas Vander Wal for the first time. Meeting Thomas was worth the trip alone, speaking as someone whose PhD research involved tagging!

But I digress. This is a website update post, not a travelogue. As I was saying, the content workshop was productive. Here is visual proof of our productivity, courtesy of @7headsdesign:

content workshop

The purpose of the content strategy workshop, in a nutshell, was to determine our audience and our most important messages in order to determine the best way to deliver Web content to current and potential members.

In the morning, we completed a “persona” exercise, in which we identified important types of people for our site. We came up with librarian, academic, IA professional, student, and industry professional. Then each of us had to construct that person by answering questions about our assigned persona and cutting out pictures in magazines that represented that persona. For example, I created a persona of a female professor and director of her school’s PhD  program in information science. She is divorced, has two grown children, shops at Trader Joe’s and local farmers’ markets, uses her laptop rather than her phone or Kindle for most of her digital needs, and so on. Here is my visual representation of Barbara:


Ahava and Talia are using these personas to construct a picture of our forthcoming site’s visitors.

In the afternoon, we completed the identity pillars workshop. In this exercise, we talked about ASIS&T’s “brand” – the pillars of how our association is perceived now as well as how we would like it to be perceived in the future. After several iterations led by Ahava, we emerged with the following. Here you can see the final result – the current pillars are on the left, and the future pillars appear on the right:


The identity pillar exercise was a somewhat exhausting, but also a clarifying, exercise for me. Personally, I’m happy about the amount of insight we produced about our members and our important messages in a day, and I’m optimistic that Ahava and Talia’s work will help us focus our message and our content in ways that will keep current members virtually engaged with ASIS&T as well as attract new members.

I’ll keep you posted! In the meantime, please share your thoughts about the two visual design options in the comments.