In March, our designers started work on the Literatuurplein 3.0 project. The third re-styling of the popular Dutch literature website, designed and developed by BSL. In this blog, we’ll tell you something about Literatuurplein 1.0 and 2.0. Also about why it’s time for a new housestyle, and lastly how we’ve approached the project.

Literatuurplein – a literary treasure trove

Before moving on to what’s new in Literatuurplein 3.0, let’s take a quick look at its history…

The Literatuurplein website was officially launched in April 2002 by the VOB (the branch organization for Dutch public libraries at that time). The aim of the website was to provide easy access to information about Dutch literature. Over the years, our engineers continued to update the site’s infrastructure and underlying technology. Taking on board feedback from enthusiastic Literatuurplein users, we added new features too. A new release appeared every few years. In 2012, the new product owners (Stichting or BNL) asked BSL to update the Literatuurplein to match their housestyle. At the same time, we added an extra feature – users could personalize their homepage, adding and removing ‘widgets’.

Keeping up with trends and developments

A successful website needs to keep abreast of changing trends and developments. Even the best web sites can become outdated after just a few years. Which is why it’s important to regularly review the technology underlying a site. It’s also useful to take a critical look at the website’s design and its content. Are certain features missing? Are some rarely used? When updating a site it’s easy to think only in terms of adding new functions. Thought is rarely given to finding out what’s no longer needed. But those familiar with the phrase ‘less is more‘ know that removing overhead is important. Users want to find information quickly and easily!

Why Literatuurplein 3.0?

In 2015, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) took over management of Literatuurplein. Their first priority was to integrate the BNL infrastructure into their organization. Towards the end of 2016 we began discussing ideas for improving and updating Literatuurplein. The goal is to ensure that the website continues to meet the expectations of their current users, as well as follow current web design principles. Which is why the KB asked us to give Literatuurplein another facelift – Literatuurplein 3.0!

Literatuurplein 3.0

At BSL, we know the importance of keeping up with the latest trends and technological innovations. With more than 4 million visitors each year, Literatuurplein is one of the most popular websites in the Netherlands. A website’s success depends on a positive user experience. And because Literatuurplein users increasingly access its contents on mobile phones or tablets, development of a responsive Literatuurplein website was our number one priority. A re-design will mean that users can view Literatuurplein 3.0 on any type/size of screen or platform. We also advise product owners to get feedback from their users. Using this feedback, the KB prepared their ‘wish-list‘. Some old features will be re-styled or removed, and several new options will be added.

Literatuurplein 3.0 changes

  • A ‘less busy’ home page, reducing the size of the least-used information blocks
  • Removal of less popular options from the website, such as ‘Book of the Week’ and ‘Courses’
  • Improved ‘look & feel’ for the homepage, with more images (some of which will be larger) and TV/radio logos
  • Clearer detail pages that appear when users click an option, showing only information related to that item.

These changes will also help to improve the SEO scores (Search Engine Optimization), making the website more ‘attractive’ for Google. This was one of the specific aims of the Literatuurplein 3.0 project.

Work underway on Literatuurplein 3.0

Three of our developers have already started work on the Literatuurplein 3.0 project. Following discussions with KB, the project kicked off with a design phase. We think it’s important to work with prototypes, so customers aren’t faced with unexpected surprises. This project was no exception. Once the design had been accepted, and a number of small changes had been made, we started on the development. We expect that a new release will be available for testing by KB on 21st April.

In need of a new website?

Do you need a new website, or do you want to bring your company’s current site up-to-date? Then why not get in touch with our developers. They’ll be happy to discuss your ideas with you, no strings attached.

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