Public Service

Sharon Public Library

How might we evaluate our current existing site content and redesign our website with an emphasis on easy to access information architecture?

Information Architect


June – August 2020 (6 Weeks)




Figma, Optimal Workshop

The Challenge


Although the Sharon Public Library has taken some steps to organize content in a manner that may function internally, there is opportunity to refine navigation schemes to expand on audience specific schemes to inform further attributes from a top-down information architecture for library patrons using the website.

The current website is not modern from a technological perspective, and while there is an abundance of information, it can be daunting for library patrons to find information based on how it is currently organized. Additional areas of opportunities are consolidating and simplifying landing pages which can have further attributes listed in a mega-menu or consolidated within child pages.

UX Goals

UX Constraints

Current State
UX Approach


Diagram Lumen
Learn & Understand


A competitor analysis was conducted on Beyond the Whiteboard, BodySpace and Garage Gym to generate a list of features currently available.

Additionally, by conducting remote interviews, I was able to inform primary and secondary personas based on general  library use, demographic, servicing and way-finding questions. 

Key Findings

Themes C1 C2 C3
Value Proposition Yes Yes Yes
Clear Call-To-Action Message Yes Yes
Clear User Type Logins Yes
Diversity Inclusion (Photos) Yes
Data Analysis on workouts Yes Yes
Application/Product Overview Yes Yes
Transparency in cost Yes
Community Engagement Yes Yes
Cross Platform Compatible Yes Yes Yes
Free Trial Yes Yes
Learn & Understand

User Personas

Recruiting Criteria

  • Mix of gender and technology literacy
  • Located in the United States
  • Ages 13+
  • Interacted with a library at least once in the last 6 months
  • Has found information from a library in-person and electronically
  • Electronic consent and ~1hr for interview

Interview Guide

Click themes to expand

Overview on Sharron Public Library.

There are no right or wrong answers in trying to learn and understand more information about library use.

  • What is your role in your organization?
  • How would you describe your interactactions with patrons?

  • What type of age range do you see coming into the library or using your site?

  • How would you describe age gaps between in-library patrons and web users ?

  • How would you describe the educational background of those who use library services or the website frequently?

  • What are the key differences and similarities between users of the library’s website and those who use the brick-and-mortar library?

  • Are there any specific requirements of digital library users that differ from traditional library users?

  • Do you find that some people who come into the library do so specifically to ask questions or comment about the website?

  • What are the primary goals of your organization’s website?

  • What do you feel is the main strength of your organization’s website?

  • Who oversees the website at your organization?

  • How many admins do you have that edit your website? Can you describe their roles

  • When you are using the organization’s website, what are the common challenges you face?

  • What is the most popular content? What is the least popular content?

  • What type of content/pages do you find yourself often directing others towards?

  • What type of content confuses people?

  • How do people find information on events that may be important for them?

  • What type of information do you personally search or look for?

  • How frequently do patrons use your digital content/resources?

  • How has COVID-19 impacted information patrons search for in the library?

  • Do library patrons use different terminology to refer to online materials versus traditional materials?

  • What type of content do your patrons most frequently request assistance finding?

  • Are there any common complaints you hear from patrons concerning digital library materials?

  • What are the common ways patrons reach out for assistance if any problems accessing digital library, account, and other services on the website?

  • Do you have any other information related to the library’s website or content that you feel would be helpful for us to know?

Primary Persona

Task Priorities by Personas

Tasks Informant Adapter Traditionalist
Primary Secondary
High Priority
Activate Library Card 👍 👍 👍
Find Digital Downloads 👍 👍
Download Digital Downloads 👍 👍
Track Physical Materials 👍 👍 👍
Library Operation Hours 👍 👍 👍
Research Databases 👍 👍
Medium Priority
Library Policies 👍 👍
Upcoming Events 👍 👍
Programs for Family 👍 👍
Support with Technology 👍 👍 👍
Low Priority
Library Newsletters 👍 👍
Reserve A Space 👍 👍
Library History 👍 👍
Secondary Personas
Evaluate Existing Content

Content Analysis

By conducting a content analysis, Edward was able to help define inventory of current existing content to compare to tasks users are finding challenging to navigate. The current site has a combination of hybrid schemes in primary navigation and topical schemes in secondary navigation in a left navigation menu. In some cases, there is even tertiary level of navigation embedded within content of a page or linked externally from email content.

Current State
Active Links
Recommended Future State
Active Links
Current Content Type
Recommended Content Type by Persona Priorities
iMagine Labeling & Taxonomy


Using Treejack, a usability tree test was conducted by Edward Guerra to measure the effectiveness of a recommended sitemap for Sharron Public Library. A visual representation of objects and relationships within a system can aid understanding and finding for both stakeholders and users. Participants were asked to assess where they believe they would find more information from an information retrieval task.

5 participants ranging from ages 28-61, mixed gender, computer literacy and a history of using a library were included to complete 8 scenario-based tasks.

Tree Test Scenarios

  1. You are looking to start using your nearest local library during global pandemic. Where would you go on the website to learn more information?

  2. You need to bring your photo ID and proof of residency to activate a membership card at the library. Where would you navigate to find library hours?

  3. You’re living through a global pandemic and want to minimize your time in a public library. How would you look for available resources to borrow/checkout?

  4. How would you reserve a book for curb-side pickup?

  5. You’re wanting to extend the time that you have a book checked-out. Where would you navigate to learn more about doing that online?

  6. You want to stay informed on updates regarding your local library. Where would you primary expect to find more information?

  7. You have a family member that is an incoming high school senior in summer break. Where would you click to find more information about university tests?

  8. Where would you click to download audiobooks?

Tree Test Results

  1. 3 out of 5 participants successfully located Request Library Card.2 out of 5 expected to find more information under Services.

  2. Only 1 out of 5 participants located Hours of Operation.
    Recommendation: Relocate Hours of Operation label within Services based on 4 out of 5 participants that believed that is where they would find it.
  3. 4 out of 5 participants successfully located library resources.

  4. 4 out of 5 participants successfully located book reservations.

  5. 4 out of 5 participants navigated to book reservations even though current site instructions are in ambiguous, “How Do I” group and Policies.
    Recommendation: Integrate Renew Book Checkout within My Account as a signed-in patron.
  6. 5 out of 5 participants prefer Newsletter as primary source for updates.

  7. 4 out of 5 participants successfully located Test Prep.

  8. 5 out of 5 participants successfully located Audiobooks.
iNform Design

Rapid Prototype Testing

Click Test Scenario Tasks

Based on 3 design wireframes including:
  • New Site Visitor Homepage
  • Returning Site Member
  • Services Page

  1. You are visiting your local library website for the first time. Where would you click to learn more about requesting a library card?

  2. You have read the library card policies and activated your card. Where would you click to find books to checkout?

  3. You are a library card holder and have a library account online. Where would you click to extend a book checkout?

  4. Where would you click to download an audiobook?

  5. You want to learn another language. Where would you click to learn more about languages at your library?

  6. You seem to have lost a book you borrowed from the library. Where would you click to learn more about what to do?

  7. Where would you click to learn when the library opens and closes?

  8. You want to receive monthly emails about your local library. Where would you click to sign up for emails?

Tree Test Results

Click insights to expand

4 out of 5 participants successfully located Request Library Card.

Users navigated from top-down and clicked correct paths in a variety of organization groups: Primary Navigation Header, FAQ Tile, Plan Your Visit Tile, Footer.

1 user reported having web browser issues on first task and was not able to select a correct area on FireFox Web Browser.

5 out of 5 participants successfully located book collections.

3 of 5 selected Primary Navigation > Book & Media Catalogs; 2 of 5 selected Our Collections child page

4 of 5 participants successfully associated book checkout extensions with My Account.

  • 3 of 4 selected My Account CTA; 1 of 4 selected Primary Navigation > My Library.
  • 1 of 5 selected Search Bar

Test without search bar to learn if user would click similar paths as above.

5 of 5 participants successfully located Audiobooks.

  • 4 of 5 selected Primary Navigation > Book & Media Catalogs; 1 of 5 selected Hoopla Tile

3 of 5 participants located Language Literary within Primary Navigation > Programs; 2 of 5 participants selected Primary Navigation > Books & Catalogs

More testing to refine understanding for Patron mental models

3 of 5 participants successfully located Primary Navigation > My Library.

  • 1 of 3 clicked on Footer > Library Policies
  • 2 of 3 clicked Frequently Asked Questions > View More
  • 3 of 3 clicked My Account CTA

2 of 5 participants would Ask a Librarian via-email

Use a web form to gather questions and email librarians to answer; use data to inform answers within Frequently Asked Questions Tile.

5 of 5 participants located Hours of Operation

  • 3 of 5 selected Footer > Hours of Operation
  • 2 of 5 selected within Frequently Asked Questions

5 of 5 participants successfully located Sign Up For Newsletter

  • 4 of 5 selected Join Our Newsletter Tile
  • 1 of 5 selected Footer > Sign Up for Newsletters

The Results

Findings & Recommendations

Key Findings



Closing Remarks

Lessons Learned

Next Steps