Digital Spaces vs. Physical Spaces

I have, for some time, wanted to write a post on physical and digital spaces.  Digital spaces were once designed on models imposed from physical spaces.  Think about the first Yahoo Directory design.  Things have changed a lot since then.  With the recent focus on Chicago’s YOUmedia center, and the underlying research (Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out) we are finally seeing physical spaces being designed based on digital spaces and digital culture.  The physical spaces mirror how people interact in digital spaces.

Nancy Kranich delivered part of the keynote note speech at the ILA Annual Conference this year.  She added her thoughts when you discussed how libraries still often design websites similarly to how we have designed our physical buildings.

The directory style website are obsolete, as are much of the way in which we interact with our patrons in a digital space.  We need to rethink how we present ourselves digitally.  We need to rethink how we serve our patron’s needs remotely.  We need to rethink how we design our physical spaces too.  Just because we have always done it this way will not carry us into our future. We need to rethink our whole way of digital thinking.

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2 Comments

Filed under Spaces

2 responses to “Digital Spaces vs. Physical Spaces

  1. Excellent post.
    I think you can see this same trend in publishing–In order to keep books (more) relevant, design seems to draw from the digital world, employing techniques that resemble hyperlinking, etc. Additionally, e-Books are taking advantage of the online environment, and becoming less like their print counterparts.
    You are right that information professionals need to be aware of these trends, and consider them closely while designing both physical and digital spaces.
    Thanks,
    Stephanie

  2. Anthony Molaro

    Thanks for the comment Stephanie!

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