In library user experience (UX) literature, physical and digital spaces are often studied separately. In academic libraries, different stakeholders often control and operate the logistics of each set of spaces. Additionally, library UX studies seldom consider the physical experiences of users beyond the borders of library websites or buildings. Our survey of 37 U.S. academic library websites found that 97% had some kind of digital representations of physical spaces – predominantly floor plans. A content analysis of those floor plans found that many were poorly designed, and identified two specific themes: non-accessible content and a lack of comprehensive information to facilitate the user journey. This paper offers several recommendations for building more accessible digital representations of physical spaces for the library website. These trends and recommendations are intended to be instructive for managers of library websites and elucidate larger themes about academic libraries.
Read the full article in the Journal of Web Librarianship .