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Tuesday, October 24, 2023

FloatUI Library UI - Beautiful, Accessible, Responsive

Introducing FloatUI's Beautiful Library UI Kit

FloatUI has recently released an exciting new UI kit tailored specifically for building modern, responsive library websites with Tailwind CSS. This comprehensive library UI kit provides a huge range of beautifully designed components to help developers quickly build stunning library sites.

Tailwind CSS is a utility-first CSS framework that makes styling web applications very fast and easy by providing pre-defined classes for typography, spacing, layout, and more. The FloatUI components seamlessly integrate with Tailwind CSS, making it a breeze to customize styles.

The kit includes all the key UI elements you need to craft a world-class library site, including headers, footers, cards, tables, typography, navigation menus, search boxes, and much more. Unlike building completely from scratch, the FloatUI library UI components are already optimized for accessibility, mobile responsiveness, and visual aesthetics - saving you tons of development time.

Some key benefits of using FloatUI's library UI kit include:

  • Modern, consistent UI styling across all components
  • Fully responsive design across desktop, tablet, and mobile
  • Built for accessibility with ARIA roles, labels, and alt text
  • Easy integration into Tailwind CSS projects
  • Customizable designs - edit colors, fonts, sizing, and more
  • Beautiful card templates for books, media, events, and more
  • Functional data tables with sorting, filtering, and pagination
  • Robust navigation menus, search boxes, and site headers
  • Crisp, readable typography and input elements
  • Loaders, alerts, modals, tabs, and other useful components
  • Helps developers with limited design skills build attractive sites

The kit contains 40+ UI components covering all the essentials like navigation, content sections, data display, calls-to-action, and more. Since everything integrates seamlessly with Tailwind CSS, customizing the styling is a breeze. Let's look at how the FloatUI library UI kit helps you build the perfect library website.

Creating a Modern, Responsive Library Site

Building an accessible and mobile-friendly library website from scratch can be challenging. You have to optimize for diverse screen sizes, account for assistive technologies, facilitate easy navigation, and implement compelling visual designs - all while meeting stringent development budgets.

FloatUI's tailored library UI kit helps you overcome these hurdles to build a beautiful, functional library site quickly and affordably. The kit includes templates and components modelled after real-world library sites like NYPL that have been proven to deliver an excellent user experience.

For example, the responsive card templates are perfect for displaying book catalogs, media items, event listings, and staff profiles in an eye-catching yet accessible way. The kit also provides powerful site header templates with customizable search boxes, menus, and branding areas to make navigation intuitive. Site-wide styling options allow you to implement your brand's colors, fonts, and more with just a few tweaks.

Let's explore some tips for designing your ideal library site powered by FloatUI's kit.

Designing an Intuitive Layout

An intuitive site structure is crucial for keeping library users engaged. Here are some best practices for organizing key sections:

  • Highlighted content like new arrivals and current events in a prominent homepage banner. FloatUI's hero banner templates are perfect for this.
  • Logical menus and navigation making it easy to browse books, media, events, services, and more. The kit provides versatile menu components.
  • Powerful search and filters to instantly find any resource. FloatUI has fully-featured search boxes.
  • Scannable catalog listings optimally formatted with cards, images, and descriptions. The kit contains tailored catalog card components.
  • Easy access to user accounts for managing loans, holds, fees, and settings. Account dashboard templates are included.
  • Responsive layouts across all pages and components so the site functions beautifully on any device. The FloatUI components handle this automatically.
  • Consistent footer on all pages with hours, contact info, sitemap links, and social media. The kit provides optimized footer templates.

Looking at sites of top-rated libraries like NYPL reveals many of these patterns in practice. Consistency, findability, and usability are key.

Styling for a Modern Look

The visual design plays a huge role in the overall user experience. Here are some tips for styling your FloatUI-powered library site:

  • Use the built-in themes and styles for a cohesive modern aesthetic right out of the box. Easily tweak colors, fonts, etc.
  • Optimize fonts and contrast for comfortable long-form reading by using font pairings like Merriweather and Open Sans at a minimum 3:1 contrast ratio.
  • Add engaging animations and transitions to bring components to life, such as loading indicators, toggles, and slide-outs. FloatUI includes these.
  • Implement dark mode for an alternate viewing option. The components have dark mode support.
  • Showcase large hero images to highlight events and promote services. FloatUI's hero sections facilitate this beautifully.
  • Spotlight new and popular items with hover effects, animations, and badges to pique interest. The item card components have these features built-in.

Looking at contemporary library sites like NYPL shows the power of a bold, distinctive, and consistent design style. The FloatUI kit provides all the tools to achieve this with minimal effort.

Powerful Components for Any Library Feature

In addition to foundational templates and styling, FloatUI's library UI kit includes dozens of advanced components to build any library feature imaginable.

Robust navigation elements like multipurpose headers, footers, sidebars, and menus ensure a consistent experience across all pages. Flexible content display components like cards, tables, accordions, tabs, and sliders enable you to beautifully showcase books, media, events, and more. FloatUI also provides useful utilities like alerts, loaders, modals, and popups to handle interactions.

Let's explore some of the possibilities.

Designing a Catalog

For any library, the online catalog is the backbone. FloatUI equips you with tailored components to make yours both functional and stunning:

  • Media item cards with images, titles, descriptions, tags, actions, and more. Customize to showcase books, videos, newspapers, or anything.
  • Sorting and filtering to scan the catalog by title, author, subject, popularity, ratings, and other fields.
  • Search boxes with auto-complete and predictive search for easily zeroing in on any item.
  • Pagination controls to fluidly browse catalog pages with previous/next buttons or a numbered index.
  • Individual item pages with details like checkout availability, related items, and reviews.

By connecting these components via API to a backend like Folio, you can rapidly build the ultimate browsing and discovery experience.

Building Out User Accounts

Member accounts are also a vital part of any library site. FloatUI equips you to handle account features like:

  • Dashboard pages to view loans, holds, fees, and personal info at a glance. FloatUI provides custom-ready templates.
  • Activity feeds showing recent loans, holds, expirations, etc. The feed templates are configurable and themable.
  • Secure access via login, registration, and password reset flows, using encryption to protect user data.
  • Admin portals with data tables to manage users, items, and system settings. The kit includes tailor-made admin templates.

By handling the frontend interface while securely integrating with your user data backend, FloatUI makes building robust accounts easy.

Promoting Events and News

Keep your users engaged and informed by highlighting library events and announcements. FloatUI simplifies building these features:

  • Eye-catching event cards make browsing upcoming events irresistible. Control card layouts, imagery, typography, colors, and animations.
  • Configurable calendars let users visually browse events by week, month, or agenda. Sync to Google Calendar or your CMS like WordPress.
  • Custom article/post templates make news and stories shine. Control page layouts, styling, images, and more.
  • Email newsletter integration using mail providers like MailChimp to engage subscribers. Display signup forms anywhere.
  • Social media feeds to showcase your latest Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter posts. Embed live-updating streams on any page.

FloatUI has all the blocks to build an events and news hub that excites and informs your users.

Optimizing for Accessibility

To provide equal access for all users, web accessibility is a crucial consideration. All FloatUI components are designed mobile-first for responsiveness, follow WCAG standards, and include ARIA semantics.

Some specific examples of FloatUI's baked-in accessibility practices:

  • Keyboard navigability so all components can be operated without a mouse/touch.
  • Screen reader friendly with proper ARIA roles, labels, and alt text for images.
  • Color contrast and font sizes that meet minimum ratios and sizes for readability.
  • Focus states to clearly indicate when interactive elements are selected.
  • Skip links to bypass repetitive navigation and jump to main content.
  • No reliance on hover since it is not available to all input devices.

You can leverage built-in accessibility testing tools like Lighthouse in Chrome DevTools to audit your FloatUI site and address any issues. Here's an example report:

Accessibility should never be an afterthought, and the FloatUI library UI kit enables building accessible sites from the start.

Integrating Data and Services

To unlock the full potential of your library site, you'll need to connect it to external data sources, payment systems, logins, calendars, and more.

Here are some examples of real-world integrations you can build with FloatUI:

  • Fetch catalog data from APIs like Folio to power search and browsing.
  • Accept online payments by integrating Stripe, PayPal, Square, and similar checkout systems.
  • Enable social and federated logins via OAuth providers like Google, Facebook, Twitter.
  • Sync events from CMS platforms like WordPress or Google Calendar to show upcoming activities.
  • Send SMS notifications when items are due or ready via Twilio.
  • Embed interactive maps with Mapbox to provide directions.

With their robust APIs, the FloatUI components can connect to virtually any popular third-party service. This enables you to create a feature-packed library site without having to develop complex backends from scratch.

Launch and Grow Your Library Site

Once your FloatUI library site is ready, it's time to launch it publicly and spread the word!

Here are some tips for a successful launch:

  • Host the site on a speedy, scalable platform like Netlify, Vercel, AWS, or Google Cloud. Configure CI/CD pipelines for easy ongoing deployment.
  • Set up analytics with Google Analytics, Matomo, or similar to measure site traffic, engagement, conversions, etc. and optimize accordingly.
  • Register a brandable domain name and set up SSL for security.
  • Submit your sitemap to search engines like Google and Bing for indexing. Optimize pages for SEO best practices like title tags, meta descriptions, alt text, etc. to improve rankings.
  • Promote the site on social media and run email campaigns to drive awareness and usage. Leverage FloatUI's built-in social/email components to facilitate sharing.
  • Monitor performance and stability, watch user feedback, and continuously improve the experience over time.
  • Add new features, content, and services to keep attracting new users. FloatUI's modular approach makes ongoing development easy.

With diligent marketing and ongoing enhancement, your new FloatUI library site can become the beloved online home for your community.


In summary, FloatUI's dedicated library UI kit provides a huge range of components specially designed to build beautiful, accessible, and user-friendly library websites quickly. Robust templates and customizable components cover all the functionality from catalogs to accounts to events and more. Integrations with external services further expand what's possible.

By leveraging FloatUI's library UI foundation, developers can save massive amounts of time and focus on launching amazing library experiences. So check out the FloatUI library UI kit and breathe new life into your library's online presence!