Upper Sandusky Community Library

About The Project

Upper Sandusky's Community Library needed a redesign of their website, focusing on Information Architecture and findability.

My Role

I was responsible for gathering this project's requirements, research & analysis, testing & performing studies, design, and creating a final design deliverable.

The Challenge

The Upper Sandusky Community Library asked Kent State University's School of Information Architecture and Knowledge Mangement to evaluate and rework their website to better support their patrons goals of finding and accessing information. Their current website provides a wealth of information, but the website looks quite dated and the organization of content is not straightforward.

The Library serves a wide range of patrons. These patrons take advantage of all of the Library's services and must be able to easily find information relating to their tasks, including accessing the online catalog, finding information about preschool story-times or downloading a meeting room application form. The reorganization of content on Upper Sandusky Community Library's website must support the many different patrons and their information needs.

The Process

Background & Content Analysis

Before starting any design tasks, I took a quick inventory of Upper Sandusky Community Library's website to understand the existing content offered to patrons. Developing a content inventory allowed me to undestand what content existed, what content needs to be created, and what content can be removed, as well as the organization scheme and other possible issues that could be remedied by a reorganization of site content.


I then conducted research by performing two interviews with librarians and a literature review before assembling all of my findings. The findings from the content inventory, interviews, and literature research allowed me to create personas and tasks to support the resdesign of the site.

Design & Testing

Once the personas and tasks were completed, I could begin on the initial site redesign, starting with a taxonomy draft in the form of a sitemap. The sitemap was tested using Treejack, a popular online tool used to test site structures and taxonomies. The findings from the Treejack study allowed me to tweak labeling and placement of site map components. With my vetted taxonomy in hand, I created workflows and wireframes of the pages needed to complete the high-priority tasks. These wireframes were tested with Chalkmark, another online tool used to test wireframes.


The redesigned sitemap and wireframes were wrapped up in a final deliverable detailing the entire project for review by Upper Sandusky Community Library.

The Solution

There were many changes made to Upper Sandusky Community Library's website, but the two biggest were:

  • Consolidating navigation - The website initially had three separate navigation menus and organization schemes. Consolidating the menus and grouping similar content together helped patrons find the information they were after.
  • Revising labeling - Shifting, removing, adding, and regrouping content meant I also had to revisit the labeling of the content. Ambiguous labels were made more concise, and duplicate labels were removed.


As this was just a school project and at the time Kent State University did not have a policy on releasing student work to third parties, this redesign was never put into place (Upper Sandusky Community Library really did contact Kent State University). The final deliverable detailing schedule, research, personas, tasks, and design can be found here.