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Library Card platform/Design improvements

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This page provides an overview of The Wikipedia Library team's ongoing project to improve the user experience of certain high-priority workflows on the Library Card platform.

October 2021: New designs now live. The new UI, filters, and favouriting system are now live. We would love to hear your thoughts on the talk page.



The Library Card platform facilitates access to The Wikipedia Library's holdings provided through partnerships with a wide variety of organisations. The tool currently has three primary user workflows:

  1. Accessing content
    Users make use of EZProxy-based authentication to access content for which they are authorized
  2. Applying for authorizations
    Some content requires users to file an application before gaining authorization. Users need to file applications, track their status, and respond to questions.
  3. Coordinating applications
    Some users are coordinators, who review and make decisions on filed applications.

The Wikipedia Library team has identified accessing content as the highest priority workflow, given that Library content is increasingly becoming directly available via the automatically-authorized Library Bundle. Applying for authorizations is still important for many users, however, so we will keep this in mind as we evaluate potential work. While coordinating applications is a key component to providing access to all of the Library's content, the relevant workflows are undertaken by a small number of users who are provided with specific training and direct support. As such, we identify it as the lowest priority workflow for improvement.

Current pages and workflows


Accessing content


1) Logged out


For a logged out user, the Library Card platform homepage currently looks like this:

Ideally users should first log in, via Wikimedia, to learn if they meet the eligibility criteria and to check out their authorized content.

2) Logged in


Once logged in, the homepage updates and shows the current user's Library Bundle eligibility status. The Log in button updates to My Library:

3) My Library


To access content, users can now click My Library to view the content for which they are authorized:

For all Library Bundle content, a logo is present in the corner of the tile. The first tab, Instant access, lists items which users can access immediately. Clicking 'Access collection' takes them through the proxy to the publisher's website where they will be able to browse and access sources. The second tab, Individual access, lists publishers for which this is not the case. Individual logins or access codes will have been required to access that content.

While this is the current primary means to gain access to publisher content, we will be highlighting searching as the primary workflow once integrated. We thus need to consider search when redesigning the homepage. Despite the addition of search, using My Library is still an important workflow. Some content won't be indexed in the search tool, and users may still want to use a publisher's own website to use certain specific features.

Identified areas for improvement


This section is based partially on experiences and intuition of the coordinators, and partly on user feedback. If you think something is missing please let us know on the talk page.

Accessing content


We want to improve the Homepage → My Library → Publisher access workflow by making improvements to both the homepage and My Library interfaces.

1) Logged out

  • It's not obvious that 'Log in' means 'Log in via Wikimedia OAuth'
  • Logging in is not presented as a near-required action
  • We only highlight publishers which require an application; Bundle publishers are hidden and not easily accessible.
  • There is very little text explaining what The Wikipedia Library is and why a user might want to use it

2) Logged in

  • Issues with identifying publishers/Bundle content remain
  • My Library is not very clearly highlighted as the means to get to content

3) My Library

  • No descriptions are present in the collection tiles, unlike on the Browse/Apply page. For a user unfamiliar with a publisher, no context is provided on their content.
  • The Instant/Individual access distinction is confusing
  • It's not obvious what the Library Bundle icon is


Tracked in Phabricator:
Task T268342

New homepage design

2021 homepage redesign

When thinking about the homepage experience we decided to approach the problem from the perspective of a new library user. We aimed to make the homepage more understandable, user-friendly, and welcoming to more people, with a focus on a user's first-time experience. To do this we organised the page around a single call-to-action: logging in. Once a user has logged in we can provide them with more specific guidance based on what they qualify to access.

We hope that the new homepage design gives users a good grounding in what the library is and who it's for, providing a sense of what kinds of content are available here, but prioritises guiding them towards getting logged in. The publisher logos at the bottom of the page can be browsed by tag, allowing users who are interested in a particular topic to click that tag and filter the publishers to those holding content on that topic. This is intended to give an at-a-glance sense of the library's holdings, without going into specifics about how that content is accessed.

This change also updates the footer, trimming some of the less important links for logged out users.

As we move to deploy this new homepage we will be measuring success by monitoring data on the percentage of users who log in after visiting the homepage.

My Library


We have the following goals for the My Library page:

  • Allow users to more easily find and access collections of interest to them
  • Improve the ability to filter and search through available collections
  • Provide a more direct line from this page to the new partner suggestion page

June mockups


We went back to the drawing board on designs for the logged in experience and have new designs to share.

June 2021 My Library mockup

Instead of My Library being a separate page from the logged in landing page, we've decided that logging in should take you right to the content you have available to you. The library's collections will be split into three sections:

  • Favourites: Items you have favourited for quick access
  • My Collections: All content available for you to access
  • Available Collections: All content you are not currently authorized to access (with links to apply)

New filtering options are available for proxy-based access (Instant access), languages, tags, and a free text filter for searching collection descriptions.

The search box at the top will search across content from all library collections.

January mockups


Publisher logos are blurred for copyright reasons.

Outdated - see June mockups section above

January 2021 My Library mockup (Outdated)

My Library

The first mockup for the updated My Library page can be found on the right. The mockup includes the following changes:

  • Collection cards have a new design, but the functionality remains largely the same
  • The individual/instant access tab system has been removed in favour of having everything in one place.
  • My Library now has a filter like the Browse page
    • The filter allows for selecting multiple tags at once
    • It also includes a checkbox to hide Library Bundle collections
  • A favourites section has been added. Users can click the star in the corner of any tile to add that collection to their favourites, bringing it to the top of the page.
    • The description for favourited collections is collapsed to save space.

Additionally, this mockup includes an adjusted navigation bar with both 'My Library' and 'All Collections' (currently Browse/Apply) always visible, to improve navigation.

All Collections

January 2021 All Collections mockup (Outdated)

We will also use the new card design and filtering system on the page listing all available collections, per the second mockup. Instead of the ability to hide Library Bundle collections, All Collections will have a filter for hiding collections which the user already has access to. Additionally, we've added a more prominent call to suggest new partnerships.