online education, accessibility, aesthetics, instructional design, library and information science, academic librarianship


The outbreak of COVID-19 added an increased sense of urgency to creating accessible online materials for higher education professionals, including academic librarians, as they explored new ways to engage with users online. Librarians who relied on in-person sessions to provide information literacy instruction to students shifted to synchronous and asynchronous instruction methods. This paper shares the experiences of an instruction librarian tasked with evaluating and redesigning a set of asynchronous information literacy modules for first-year undergraduate students in the summer of 2020. The evaluation and redesign were informed by contemporary debates about the design of online instructional materials from a web design and instructional design (ID) perspective. In particular, the author sought to investigate the claim that increasing the accessibility of online learning objects decreases their aesthetic appeal. Discussions of aesthetics and design are largely absent in the professional literature of library and information science (LIS), yet they are relevant, as many librarians perform ID duties. Since definitions of aesthetics are far-ranging, the author employed a specific framework discussed by Brown et al. — contrast, alignment, repetition and proximity (CARP) — for assessing the aesthetic value of the modules. After utilising a variety of tools to evaluate the accessibility of the modules along with the CARP framework, the author concluded that increasing the accessibility of the modules also increased their aesthetic value.

Publication Date


Document Type


Publication Version



Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Academic Affairs


Orlando (Main) Campus


UCF Libraries



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.