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Guelph Public Library Website UX Study

In September 2017, the UX Team explored user perception of the newly redesigned Guelph Public Library (GPL) website.

Research Questions

  • How do users experience the newly designed GPL website?
  • What issues are there with the new website?


  • We conducted in-person interviews and usability tests with 25 participants (8 Older Adults and 17 Adults) at 5 different GPL branches.

What did we Learn?

  • Users found the new design aesthetically pleasing but more difficult to navigate
  • Users were confused by library jargon
  • Most participants navigated the website by reading through the persistent navigation menu and missed important buttons below the fold
  • Users could not find the search bar, and found search menu options confusing
  • The events calendar was difficult to use

Our Recommendations

  • Ensure important information is displayed above the fold
  • Improve colour contrast between text and background
  • Avoid using library jargon like ‘eLibrary’ and ‘eResources’
  • Improve structure of the persistent navigation menu by making mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories
  • Explain the difference between ‘catalogue,’ ‘resources’, and ‘website’ on the search drop-down menu
  • Include the word ‘Search’, or a search bar, on the homepage. Not all users associate a magnifying glass symbol with the option to search
  • For the events calendar, include a complete list of program titles, place the legend in a more visible location, and include the option to filter events by type
Year of Study: