Library Design and Usability

"Librarians should understand that what they do is create space, cognitive space in the environment. It can look like a public library, a web site ... or whatever. Librarians need to make sure that they provide a rich space, where human beings can gather, interact, and become more than themselves. If librarians can do that, and do it well, they will be a part of the future."

John Perry Barlow, "Librarians as Cyberspace Guerrillas"
interview by Ron Chepesiuk, American Libraries
27 (September 1996), 49-51.

Selected publications by John Kupersmith
For more, see the About page.

Library Terms That Users Understand
This document is intended to help library web developers decide how to label key resources and services in such a way that most users can understand them well enough to make productive choices. It compiles data from usability studies evaluating terminology on library websites, and suggests test methods and best practices for reducing cognitive barriers caused by terminology, and provides an extensive list of resources.

YOU ARE HERE, But Where is That?:
Architectural Design Metaphors in the Electronic Library

One of the key issues in planning an electronic library system is the choice and presentation of an overall design metaphor that will enable the user to form a useful mental model of the system. Architectural design metaphors are appealing because they address a set of basic human needs and behaviors known as "sensemaking" and "wayfinding".
Informational Graphics and Sign Systems as Library Instruction Media
This paper discusses typical approaches to signage in libraries, and describes the components, objectives, design, and benefits of sign systems.