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:

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:

wpid-20140801_150042.jpg

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.

 

 

 

17 Comments

  1. Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan says:

    Hi Diane
    Great work! I prefer Direction 1. Direction 2 reminds one of the current (old) logo of ASISt. The idea is to overhaul the whole design and create a new identity. I think Direction 1 is on the road to it.
    By the way, what are favicons?

    best wishes
    Fidelia

    1. Thanks, Fidelia. Yes, Direction 2 is meant to be reminiscent of the old logo, but also updated.

      Favicons are the small icons you see in the browser window or tab next to the website’s address. You can see two examples in the image below from two of my open Firefox tabs. I hope this helps!

  2. I do like Direction 1.

    It is clean, simple and contemporary.

    I don’t like Direction 2.

    Warm regards,
    N A R E S H (Direction 1)

  3. Heather says:

    I actually like the current logo that we have better then either of these. At least with the current logo there is color contrast. Don’t care for the washed out red.

  4. Kathryn LaBarre says:

    Direction 2 is not sufficiently updated to be distinctive or energetic. I do not like the color palette or the favicons. Direction 1 provides more color variation but the largest of the stand-alone trademarks needs kerning. The favicon looks a bit like a swear word! I dislike this grouping less, but do not feel that it captures the spirit of ASIS&T now or will in the future.

  5. Brad Gulliford says:

    Direction 1 is *too* clean, simple, and contemporary–it has the originality of an 11-year-old playing with the drop-down font menu. I agree with Kathryn that kerning would help. Yet I still like the current logo and am partial to direction 2. If the logo must reflect a big upheaval and change in the society, I don’t feel part of that yet.

  6. Jens-Erik Mai says:

    None of them are really great or fantastic – but #1 is much, much better than #2.

  7. I do not like the style of Direction 1 or the color palette. It is too modern and simplistic. I prefer Direction #2 but it looks very similar to the current logo so I see no reason to change it, if this is the direction we want to go. The color palette of Direction 2 needs to be more dynamic.

    1. Vicki L. Gregory says:

      I agree with Lynne. Why change if we do not have something that is demonstrably better,

  8. Natascha Karlova says:

    Direction #1, plz!

  9. Chris Landbeck says:

    Direction 2 does not appeal much at all. I much prefer Direction 1, but FWIW I can’t help but think that a green component would be good. Rounding things out, as it were.

  10. Steve Hardin says:

    I like Direction 2 more than Direction 1. Maybe it’s my age, but to 1 looks like a stencil. I’d like to see a brighter color for 2 as well.

  11. Harry Bruce says:

    I prefer direction 2. Direction 1 is very clean and crisp but has nothing distinctive to offer.
    I like the letter connections in direction 2. It makes sense to me that A is connected to S and stands for ASsociation.

    1. Heather says:

      I agree with Harry, but would be nice to have some contrasting colors. Give more of a pizazz. Maybe Chris’s idea of some green 🙂

  12. Diane Velasquez says:

    I like direction 1 better as far as font as it’s more modern. I find it interesting that so many organizations go toward red of some kind like ALA, ALIA, etc. Perhaps using a different color palette would be better so that we stood out more would be good.

  13. Sara Mooney says:

    I prefer the typography of 1. However, I feel that the colors are too trendy (mainly the eggplant and turquoise which could have been pulled directly from the seasonal Pantone fashion guides!) and may quickly date the logo.

  14. Andrew Dillon says:

    Sort of prefer 1 but not strongly. The spacing in the logo seems too wide and that funky A is not quite right to my eye. The color palette is also a bit jarring – the turquoise (if that is what it is) doesn’t work for me.

    In 2, the I and the L seem to pop inappropriately in the full name. The logo is ok but not new to my eye.

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