Los Angeles Public Library: UX Proposal
WORK - IN - PROGRESS
CATEGORIES: UX, interaction, design research
KEYWORDS: public libraries, public resources, public services, cultural institutions
I am redesigning the Los Angeles Public Library’s (LAPL) digital user experience to focus on directing users to resources and services by branch location.
This project is not sponsored or endorsed by LAPL.
Phase 01A: DEVELOPING A SURVEY
If you have ever used the Los Angeles Public Library’s resources, please take a few minutes to fill out this preliminary survey to help me with this project!
Phase 01B: LAPL’s STRATEGIC PLAN
Knowing that I might not get as much survey participation as I wanted, I turned to the work LAPL has already done in outlining their 5-year strategic plan for 2015-2020. In it they outline 6 major goals for their patrons, and for how the Library can contribute to the communities of Los Angeles.
Phase 02A: DECONSTRUCTING LAPL’s EXISTING DIGITAL USER EXPERIENCE
PHASE 02B: HOW DOES LAPL’s HOMEPAGE COMPARE TO OTHER PUBLIC LIBRARIES?
To get a better sense of what the public library digital landscape is like, I compared LAPL’s homepage experience to that of the public libraries in five other major U.S. cities. Some insights from this comparison were:
- Each library’s Updates are most often put front and center, followed by Catalog Search / Search.
- Imagery and icons are used to break up the amount of textual information on the page.
- The two midwestern libraries’ (Saint Louis & Chicago) sites were both built using Bibliocommons software, and have some common page structures as a result. This software also powers the catalog of the Seattle Public Library.
- Seattle’s use of a responsive header allows the menu to stay in view while exploring other content on the homepage, which helps to avoid getting lost in all of the available information on the page.
- San Francisco’s small page outlay + dropdown menu navigation isn’t very “up-to-date”, however, it makes the different avenues of information easy to digest.