For immediate release | October 7, 2021

UX principles for library signage and wayfinding design

CHICAGO — Well-designed signage is clear, direct, and reduces confusion and frustration among library users and library workers alike—and also complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), bolstering accessibility. “Library Signage and Wayfinding Design: Communicating Effectively with Your Users,” published by ALA Editions, demonstrates how user experience (UX) design principles can assist libraries in creating positive, welcoming signage that communicates effectively and efficiently. Using the principles and examples laid out by Mark Aaron Polger in this book, readers will learn:

  • how to spot the telltale features of poor design, from signage that’s wordy, passive aggressive, too small, unfriendly or threatening, to wayfinding that uses inconsistent terminology or different color schemes or typefaces;
  • why taking a UX (user experience) approach can help make the library a welcoming space;
  • core UX criteria for effective wayfinding design, such as the specific design zones of a sign, appropriate typefaces, color schemata, text to image ratio, text and image sizes, contrast, and viewing distance;
  • about important considerations like placement and touchpoints;
  • best practices for using ADA compliance guidelines when performing a library signage audit;
  • special approaches for digital signage; and
  • techniques that signage designers can use when studying library users to better understand their perceptions, feelings, and attitudes regarding signage and wayfinding.

Polger is associate professor and coordinator of library outreach at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York (CUNY). His responsibilities include coordinating the library’s marketing and outreach activities, engaging in campus partnerships, promoting library events, and coordinating assessment of library services and resources. His research interests include library marketing, library signage, and user experience (UX) design. He has written and presented on topics ranging from library marketing strategies, faculty outreach, library jargon, and library signage.

Many book retailers and distributors are experiencing service disruptions or delays, including Amazon. For speediest service, order direct from the ALA Store. ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library and information professionals worldwide. ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman publishes resources used by library and information professionals, scholars, students, and educators to improve programs and services, build on best practices, enhance pedagogy, share research, develop leadership, and promote advocacy. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a variety of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman at

Related Links

"Library Signage and Wayfinding Design: Communicating Effectively with Your Users"

"Video Accessibility"

"Easy Graphic Design for Librarians: From Color to Kerning"


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

American Library Association

ALA Publishing & Media