User Interface for The Answer Place
Senior Project: 1991-1992
The Answer Place is a computerized public access information system,
which will be located just inside the main entrance of the new Boulder Public
Library. It will provide workstations, through which library patrons can gain
access to various kinds of information, such as card catalogs and the Irving
system. Since patrons will be unfamiliar with the layout of the new library,
one type of information they will frequently want is the location of various
services and facilities provided by the library.
Since the library has grown considerably in size with no commensurate increase
in staffing, the existing staff may not be able to handle all of these
requests. Thus, one of the functions of The Answer Place is to provide
an interactive library map, via which patrons may navigate the library and
locate services and facilities of interest.
The system is operable in a "user-friendly" intuitive manner using a mouse. All
menus are self-explanatory, using icons as well as text. There is one full map
of the library, allowing zooming to additional text information and additional
sub-maps when an area is selected, continuing to whatever level is appropriate
to provide complete information to patrons. The software also provides a
maintenance mode, through which non-technical users can reprogram the system,
adding or modifying the maps and other information provided by the system as
office locations are moved or services are added. The software was implemented
using Visual Basic and Microsoft Windows.