For the last blog post, I thought it only fitting to evaluate the homepage of my host city’s public library. Although one of the most cluttered of the ones that I’ve discussed, there is order to the chaos, and as a result, it isn’t too distracting for the user. The interface attempts to present a lot of information all at once, but there is likely no other way to do this.
The navigability of the site is wonderful. All the important information is at the top of the page, meaning that Steve Krug and users don’t have to think. The interface presents users with the most important information on the left-hand side of the page, where studies have shown, people tend to look first. This is certainly a page that lends itself to skimming, but although the page is busy, there is not so much text as to be overwhelming. Upon clicking further into the site, users find information broken down into specific headings that are clear and easy to use.
Accesibility! This site is pretty good in terms of accesibility. The interface is designed to be easily enlarged by users with visual difficulties – an important point to keep in mind when designing a website for the general public. Evidently the designers have asked themselves the question, “Who is my site for?”However, rather surprisingly, the VPL has the same problem with language accessibility as did the Leninka. When users change the language, the navigation bar on the left side of the page and search bar at the top of the page remain in English, which limits its accessibility, especially in a city where many elderly immigrants live who do not speak English.
Although the homepage is ‘busy’, that’s because they have a lot of information to fit into one small spot. Thankfully, they keep the background white, which is nice and simple, and is easy to read for those users who have poor eyesight or monitors with poor contrast.
All in all, the VPL website is fairly user-friendly. Although there are some aspects upon which they could improve, the VPL does a good job of making their website accessible for the vast majority of their patrons, regardless of eyesight, age or language.