User Experience in Physical Spaces


Communities experience libraries as more than online spaces. This project focuses on ways to support library workers in our efforts to improve the user experience of our physical spaces.

  • Design & Aesthetics: This functional area provides guidance on how to think about artwork, displays, and other aesthetic concerns in a library’s environment and how they may impact users’ comfort and enjoyment of the space.
  • Furniture & Use of Space: This functional area provides guidance on selection and arrangement of furniture and fixtures to optimize the functionality and comfort of the library environment.
  • Safety: This functional area provides guidance on different considerations for users’ psychological and physical safety, and how the built environment can impact their sense of wellbeing in the space.
  • Sensory Elements: This functional area provides guidance on how elements of the library’s physical space may impact users’ senses, primarily sight, smell, and sound, and pays particular attention to impacts on people with sensory sensitivities.
  • Signage & Wayfinding: This functional area provides guidance on the strategic placement of signs and visual cues to guide patrons through the library space efficiently and effectively.


Items listed under Readings & Videos are tagged to indicate topics related to DEIA (diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility), User Groups, and/or Partner Groups.

  • DEIA Terms: accessibility ADA compliance disability embodiment/body acceptance universal design belonging gender and sexuality mental health neurodiversity trauma-informed cultural responsiveness language sensory auditory smell visual physical safety psychological safety
  • User Groups: campus faculty and staff community members everyone library workers student workers students
  • Partner Groups: academic departments administration alumni campus safety/police communications community partners facilities faculty faculty governance first year experience & student activities international students office multicultural center student accessibility services student affinity groups student support services


Create a customized list by adjusting selections from the following functional areas and resource categories.

Creators and Editors

Members of the User Experience Standing Group (UXSG) created and continue to revise this resource to maintain relevance and currency.