Cecilia Villegas
Industrial and Graphic Designer
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ATL Public Library Website

Realignment of Atlanta’s Public Library live mock up: www.apl.ceciliavillegas.net

After a thorough analysis of the User Experience when visiting Atlanta-Fulton Public Library current website, the team decided to realign it according to user goals and purpose of the library. This site will be used by different visitors, with many different goals. We decided to establish six different users; that would cover a significant amount of the target audience, and that would use the site for either research, job searching, and leisure browsing. The users chosen were: students, researchers, parents, unemployed users, senior citizens and leisure readers.

THE PROBLEM
We did an extensive research of the current website and all the primary features it has to offer, as well as an extensive analysis of other public library websites and their functionalities. We also analyzed the functionality and patterns of sites that deal with a massive amount of products and a large search function, such as Amazon or Netflix, and how these sites approached different functionalities that we needed for the Library website. From all theses analysis, we were able to determine what were the most critical issues the site had and the most important elements to be addressed in the realignment of the site. The key issues to approach were the difficulty of searching for material on the website, as well as, the availability of vast resources that would go unnoticed by the user since the site isn't very explanatory.

THE SOLUTION
The most important project goals were: After logging in, provide a customized experience for the user’s homepage; this would include a dashboard that features interests chosen by the user. Design the search functionality to be the main feature on the homepage. In that, streamline the search process to be more intuitive and self-explanatory. Allow users to set notifications for different events. Indicate the nearest library to the user’s location via automatic detection and allow an option to change and save as favorite for future visits. Provide recommendations from librarians or fellow patrons. Explain the differences between the online databases/guides and what they’re used for. The design achieves the goal of highlighting the search functionality as the primary feature, as well as, helping the user at any time, to find what they need, refine their search and even save all their interests with the personalized dashboard.

Pages Designed: Wayfinding

HOME : Initial page or Click on Library’s logo

USER’S DASHBOARD: Main Navigation > Get a Library Card or Login

SEARCH RESULTS: Main Navigation > Search Button or Search feature > Search Button

BOOK DETAILS, GONE GIRL: Search Results Page > Gone Girl Book or Title

EVENTS: Main Navigation > Events

DATABASES: Main Navigation > Online Resources > Databases

JOB RESOURCES: Main Navigation > Online Resources > Job Resources

Atlanta Public Library Website

Realignment of the Atlanta Public Library Website, to improve the usability and access to resources. The site was developed after a thorough UX analysis of the current Atlanta-Fulton Public Library current website, and the establishement of each of the personals goals. Atlanta’s Public Library Live Site: www.apl.ceciliavillegas.net


Role in the Project: Designer in a Team, with Jenny Lanier and Hao-Wen Yang 

Digital Design. Website Realignment.

User Experience Practice. SCAD Atlanta. Spring 2015



 

The problem

After and exhaustive analysis of the current website, we found that the search feature was extremely difficult to find, therefore accessing to content was limited and prevented users from learning the vast amount of resources the library offered. Also, the users cannot apply for a library card online, which implies that they couldn't check out books or use the library services online, even though the website permits this if you already have a library card.

 

 

The Solution

This realignment of the site offers users the search functionality as the main feature, so they can search and filter their results; also the site provides a customized experience for the user’s homepage, once they log in; including a dashboard that features interests chosen by the user or learned based on the user's previous selections. We gave special importance to providing recommendations from librarians or fellow patrons so that the users would have more freedom to browse content. 

 

Customized Dashboard

The user can keep track of the books borrowed, requested or on holds, as well as of those in her family that use. The site will make recommendations for her, as well as, suggestions for her family.

Search Functionality

Searching and browsing content is the mail feature of the site. The user can filter all content with a variety of options. The search box will move to the navigation, as a persistent element.

 

Design Process

Personas

We defined different types of personas who would visit the site. Each one of them had their specific stories and goals, and therefore different behavior; for example: the leisure reader (Phoebe) is not going to browse the site in the same way as the researcher (Hannah) or the senior citizen (Jack). 

 
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Realigned Sitemap 

After analyzing all the resources the Library had to offer in their website, and aligning them with our goals for each of the users, we restructured the website and it's sitemap so that all resources are easily accessible to them, and also, so that the site would allow each user to personalize their dashboard and preferences, once they log in.

 
 

Wireframes

With our goals all cleared we designed the pages of the site, thinking only on functionality, so that we could evaluate if everthing we required from the user worked, that all elements are clear, consistent and easy to use. 

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Style Tiles

Style Tiles

Each member of our team developed a style tile, that we deconstructucted and extracted the most valuable insights of each to create a unifying style tile that would determine the look-and-feel-of the website.