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Simplicity is hard to build, easy to use, and hard to charge for.
Complexity is easy to build, hard to use, and easy to charge for.


The look and feel of the DSpace web site is usually one of the first considerations when evaluating DSpace as an institutional repository platform.

This wiki page provides help for the two user interfaces available for DSpace, the XMLUI and JSPUI.

Our repository, marketed as SUNScholar, uses the XMLUI.

Design Considerations

Please see: Useful, usable, desirable : applying user experience design to your library

Acid picdump 06.jpg

  • In the absence of an official University website style guideline we decided to try to match the theme of the library website.
  • The focus of the theme was to ensure that the website was pleasant to the eye to view and that it had a somber research tone.
  • We avoided too many pictures and animations as these take time to load on slow connections and they use up the scarce internet data allocation of users in Africa.
  • We applied the colors used for University logo's as a color palette.
  • We kept our banner logo as simple possible to clearly convey who is providing the repository service and what the repository does.
  • We also tried to theme the website so that the eye is drawn quickly and easily to the elements that matter, which are the items in collections.
  • We do not post current news etc and leave that to our blog, mailing list and twitter feed.
  • We also do not post detailed help guides, but rather built a wiki help guide.
  • See: for an example.


  1. In the beginning there was only the JSP interface.
  2. Then the XMLUI was introduced in DSpace version 1.5.
  3. Mirage, a new XMLUI theme was added in DSpace 1.7.
  4. Then the Bootstrap theme for the JSPUI was introduced in DSpace version 4.X.
  5. In addition, the Mobile theme for the XMLUI was introduced in DSpace version 4.X.
  6. Then the Mirage 2 bootstrap framework based theme for the XMLUI was introduced with DSpace version 5.X.




Color Palette



Coding Training

Style Example Websites

Media Viewer Plugins

Comment by Graphics