May 24, 2018

Higher Education Promotes the Student Experience | From the Bell Tower

Utter the phrase “student experience” to a higher education audience and the reaction, depending on the crowd, could be visceral—as in, “education, not experience.” Yet academic librarians could benefit from and contribute to the growing interest in student experience.

Joe Márquez & Annie Downey | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Educators

In a 2015 journal article for Weave: Journal of Library User Experience, Reed College Library’s Annie Downey and Joe Márquez defined service design as “a holistic, cocreative, and user-centered approach to understanding customer behavior for the creation or refining of services.” They laid out a flexible, user-centered approach to understanding user and service provider experiences using qualitative tools—and then creating holistic solutions.

Guiding LibGuides | The User Experience

When LibGuides 2 was released in 2015, Texas A&M University Libraries seized the opportunity to rethink radically our LibGuides program. Instead of transferring existing content to the new platform, we chose to start from scratch with a renewed focus on the user experience within Guides. A pivotal part of this reconstruction involved training more than 60 librarians and staff members who serve as LibGuides creators.

Focus Group Insights | The User Experience

As librarians, we are always on the lookout for opportunities to improve the user experience. When you have a great idea and time to plan, focus groups can help uncover attitudes, experiences, and opinions through group discussion.

Participatory Design in Action | The User Experience

Participatory Design (PD) is a method for engaging deeply with users in order to build inclusive, future-oriented, user-centered services. This year I piloted a PD project with a group of four Native American students at Montana State University (MSU) called User Experience with Underrepresented Populations (UXUP). With 650 enrolled Native students, comprising four percent of our student population, this is a growing and important user community for our library.

Hit Refresh | User Experience

The World Wide Web is always evolving, and user expectations constantly respond to prevailing trends. Navigation habits become conditioned by content management system (CMS) templates, common screen layouts, search bar locations, and menu designs that shape how people use popular websites. And libraries have to keep pace.

Creating UX Buy-In | The User Experience

Facilitating meetings that encourage creative strategizing can be a way to move organizational thinking from problem-solving to solution-focused.

DIY Usability: First-Click Testing | The User Experience

Although every library would benefit from running usability studies, not every library has a dedicated staff available to conduct those studies. Anecdotally, librarians seem to feel incapable of undertaking usability studies for reasons including time, budget, and expertise.

Usability and Desirability | The User Experience

Spend five minutes brainstorming—or looking around your library—and I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with a list of ten things that aren’t as easy as they could be. Common library pain points include the OPAC, computer access, printing, self-check interfaces, locating items, and wayfinding quirks. Ironing out these wrinkles is important because making our libraries easier for people to use improves their experiences.

Growing Mobile | The Digital Shift

Smartphone ownership is quickly becoming the norm, and smartphones have become a primary Internet access point for low income consumers. Here’s a look at a few emerging trends, as libraries adapt to this growth by launching apps and responsive websites.