User experience (UX) design has a solid foundation in the consciousness of libraries. At last year’s LITA Forum there were three sessions with “UX” in the title, one for each day of the conference. UX design has made libraries more—to use Aaron Schmidt and Amanda Etche’s phrase—useful, usable, and desirable for users. However, as an application specialist I primarily work with staff that run the daily operations of our library systems, such as our integrated library system and interlibrary loan applications. I wondered how the insights of user experience design for front-end users could be applied to back-end users to help me do my job. How could I make working with library systems less frustrating for staff, to help them better serve our users? “…creating better experiences for staff is a win-win: improving EX improves employees’ ability to serve users.” While I found an abundance of library-specific literature on user…
A Chinese and American librarian talk user research and intellectual property
In April 2018, I traveled to China and presented research on user research and information literacy at the Beijing Normal University (BNU) and the Southwest University of Political Science and Law in Chongqing. Both universities have relationships with the University of Montana, and ours was one of many diplomatic/academic trips that zig-zag across the Pacific Ocean. In Beijing, I presented a paper that connected my teaching with my experience doing user research, particularly usability testing of the library website at the University of Montana’s Mansfield Library, where I am based. My interpreter while at BNU, Ran, has been an instruction librarian there for ten years, during which the library has never used user research or UX methodologies to inform any of its decision-making. This difference of experience between us and our institutions fostered fascinating and enlightening conversations. “In China, most librarians want to lead (or guide) students’ behavior but not…
Quick, Clear, Concise: Communicating Effectively
Recently I read an article that discussed digital signage at the San Jose State University library. The concerns raised by librarian Laurel Eby are very valid, especially if you don’t have any background in graphic design. Questions about content, slide duration, number of slides, and even branding are big questions that can impact how effectively your message gets across. Many, many jokes have been made about how short our attention spans are lately. (Ooh, look – a kitty!) But when you’re designing things that are meant to get – and, hopefully, keep – a person’s attention, there is a seed of truth behind the joke…and you can’t ignore it. Because if you ignore that, then your patrons will ignore you. When I studied television production, we were told about the “elevator pitch”. If you’re not familiar, imagine you’re in an elevator with a famous director – let’s say Steven Spielberg….
September Library Tech Roundup
Each month, the LITA bloggers share selected library tech links, resources, and ideas that resonated with us. Enjoy – and don’t hesitate to tell us what piqued your interest recently in the comments section!
Storify of LITA’s First UX Twitter Chat
LITA’s UX Interest Group did a fantastic job moderating the first ever UX Twitter Chat on May 15th. Moderators Amanda (@godaisies) and Haley (@hayleym1218) presented some deep questions and great conversations organically grew from there. There were over 220 tweets over the 1-hour chat. The next UX Twitter Chat will take place on Friday, May 29th, from 2-3 p.m. EDT, with moderator Bohyun (@bohyunkim). Use #litaux to participate. See this post for more info. Hope you can join us! Here’s the Storify of the conversation from May 15th.
Events surrounding the LITA President’s Program at ALA Annual
As LITA President, one of my initiatives for my presidential year was to improve the member experience. I’ve been doing this by applying user experience concepts that I’m familiar with in my everyday job to effect change and improve the overall experience for current members and those who are on the fence about joining. The LITA member experience encompasses all aspects of a member’s interaction with the association, including its programming, educational opportunities, publications, events, and even other members. The LITA Board, Committees, and ad hoc Task Forces have been instrumental to making a positive difference in the experiences of our members. Therefore, it was important for me to pick someone for my President’s Program at ALA Annual that is considered to be an expert on user experience (UX). Accomplished information architect and author Louis Rosenfeld and LITA President Rachel Vacek will discuss the curious world of user experience at…
Contest: Great Library UX Ideas Under $100
In case you haven’t noticed, user experience (UX) is all the buzz in libraries lately. If you aren’t already in the thick of a UX project now, you’re likely thinking of ways to start one. Accomplished information architect and author Lou Rosenfeld will discuss the curious world of user experience at the 2015 LITA President’s Program at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, on Sunday, June 28th, 2015, from 3-4pm. He’ll tackle your questions with moderation from LITA President Rachel Vacek on the importance of UX research and what libraries can do to provide better experiences. This is a conversation you won’t want to miss! As we approach ALA Annual, the LITA President’s Program Planning Team invites you to share your library’s successful UX projects through the LITA President’s Program Contest: Great Library UX Ideas Under $100. Join us as we celebrate library innovation! Contest Description Have you done…
Chat: UX Twitter Chat
Participate in LITA’s first ever UX Twitter Chat! When will this happen? Friday, May 15th, 2-3 p.m. EDT with moderators Amanda (@godaisies) and Haley (@hayleym1218), See Archive Friday, May 29th 2-3 p.m. EDT with moderator Bohyun (@bohyunkim), See Archive Friday, June 12th 2-3 p.m. EDT with moderator Whitni (@_whitni) Friday, June 19th 2-3 p.m. EDT with moderator Michael (@schoeyfield) Friday, July 10th 2-3 p.m. EDT with moderator Matt (@mreidsma) and Kyle (@gwydion9) Friday, July 24th 2-3 p.m. EDT with moderator Matt (@mreidsma) and Kyle (@gwydion9) Friday, August 7th 2-3 p.m. EDT Friday, August 21th 2-3 p.m. EDT with moderator Pete (@pfcoco) Friday, September 4th 2-3 p.m. EDT Friday, September 18th 2-3 p.m. EDT with moderator Amanda (@godaisies) What is the UX Twitter Chat? Share your challenges, successes, techniques, and workflows that you have developed to improve user experience (UX) at your library. Use #litaux to participate. Additionally, you can ask…
Creating Better Tutorials Through User-Centered Instructional Design
A LITA Preconference at 2015 ALA Annual Register online for the ALA Annual Conference and add a LITA Preconference Friday, June 26, 2015, 8:30am – 4:00pm Have you wanted to involve users as you design interactive e-learning, but aren’t sure where to start? In this unique, hands-on workshop, you will learn the core and emerging principles of instructional and user experience design and apply what you have learned to design, develop, and test a tutorial you create. The three dynamic and experienced workshop facilitators will cover topics including design thinking, user-centered pedagogy, user interface prototyping, and intercept usability testing while providing hands-on practice in each area. Check out these 3 tutorials examples: Popular vs. Scholarly Sources Academic Search Complete Locating Manuscripts in Special Collections Presenters: Yvonne Mery, Instructional Design Librarian, University of Arizona Yvonne co-authored the book, Online by Design: the Essentials of Creating Information Literacy Courses. She has co-authored…
Are QR Codes Dead Yet?
Flipping through a recent issue of a tech-centric trade publication that shall not be named, I was startled to see that ads on the inside flap and the back cover both featured big QR codes. Why was I startled? Because techies, including many librarians, have been proclaiming the death of the QR code for years. Yet QR codes cling to life, insinuating themselves even into magazines on information technology. In short, QR codes are not dead. But they probably ought to be. Not everywhere or all at once, no. I did once see this one librarian at this one conference poster session use his smartphone to scan a giant QR code. That was the only time in five years I have ever seen anyone take advantage of a QR code. When reading a print magazine, I just want to roll with the print experience. I don’t want to grab my phone, type the 4-digit passcode, pull up the app, and hold the camera steady. I want to read….