Responsive Design: Yale University Beinecke Library
One of the most renowned libraries of its kind at one of the most well-known Ivy League institutions in the world, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is home to an incredible set of electronic and technical assets, expanding public access to thousands of digitized treasures in its collections. Yet its staff was left maintaining an outdated web presence driven by a flat site, edited in Dreamweaver, with inconsistent templates and no opportunity to display the rich and incredible array of media it housed.
Message Agency, in partnership with Tabula Creative, re-envisioned the site in a way that helped the user experience not only its collections but also the sense of space and architecture in this revolutionary modernist building. Message Agency developed an information design and series of streamlined templates that reflected an elegant and clean structure. We also sought to help staff counter text-heavy tendencies by creating highly structured landing pages and other node types to keep the content sharp. Tabula delivered visual styling that reflected the building's modernist architecture.
The site has a number of key advances in content management for site administrators, including:
- Automated masking of collections images on the home page to reflect the geometric shape of the building's windows.
- Integrations with the Kaltura media content delivery network (CDN), which stores all of the Beinecke's video and audio assets.
- Easy-to-construct landing page, exhibit, and timeline features that help curate the visitor's online experience of collections materials.
In addition, the site's responsive design provides a seamless and elegant experience of the site across all platforms, from desktop to tablet to mobile, regardless of platform or device. A number of elements transform as the viewport changes without degrading the utility or usability of the site.