On Tuesday November 1st, the Library of Congress unveiled a redesign of their homepage, which comes as part of a larger redesign of the site currently in the works. On October 27th, the Library’s blog The Signal published an interview (conducted by Jaime Mears) with Natalie Buda Smith, User (UX) Team supervisor for the LOC, wherein she discussed user experience and the importance of design focus in libraries.
Project One is the name of the Library’s redesign initiative led by Smith and one of its greatest challenges, she says, is that the LOC started sharing their vast amount of content early on the web, using older technologies, and substantial amount of “re-work” is necessary to integrate old content with new technologies. Also challenging has been the task of conceptualizing a framework for the site that is optimized for search; decisions must be made about which objects need metadata and appropriate metadata must be assigned to records. Once the foundation is laid, the team aims to build structures for packaging the content in different ways to appeal to certain audiences.
For more on the design process and to read the interview with Natalie Buda Smith, please visit the post on The Signal‘s site here. To view the Library of Congress’s new homepage, please visit loc.gov.