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Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library
Aaron Schmidt and Amanda Etches
Item Number: 978-0-8389-1226-3
 
Publisher: ALA TechSource
Price: $65.00
 
 
 
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216 pages
6" x 9"
Softcover
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1226-3
Year Published: 2014
AP Categories: A, B, C, D, I, J, X, XE, Z

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Useful, useable, desirable: like three legs of a stool, if your library is missing the mark on any one of these it’s bound to wobble. Every decision you make affects how people experience your library. In this useful primer, user experience (UX) librarians Schmidt and Etches identify 19 crucial touchpoints such as the library website, email, furniture, parking lot, events, and newsletters. They explain why each is important to your library’s members and offer guidance on how to make improvements. From library administrators to public relations and marketing staff, anyone concerned with how members experience your library will benefit from this book’s
  • Coverage of the eight principles of library UX design, explaining how they can guide you to better serve your library's members
  • Advice on simple, structured ways to evaluate and improve aspects such as physical space, service points, policies and customer service, signage and wayfinding, online presence, and using the library
  • Scorecard system for self evaluation, which includes methods for determining how much time, effort, and skill will be involved in getting optimum performance
Easy to dip into as the need arises, this book points the way towards ensuring that your library is a welcoming space for everyone.

Table of Contents

1. Introducing Library User Experience

1.1       What Is User Experience Design?

1.2       Why UX for Libraries?

1.3       The Trinity of Good UX

1.4       The Principles of Library User Experience Design

1.5       How to Use This Book

1.6       A Note on Terminology

2. User Research Techniques in This Book

2.1       Attitudinal and Behavioral Research

2.2       Other User Research Techniques

2.3       Additional Reading

3. Physical Space

3.1       The Library Building Is Clean and Functions as Intended

3.2       The Library Building Is Free from Clutter

3.3       Furniture Adequately Supports Member Needs

3.4       The Building Supports Diverse Behaviors

3.5       Members Have Easy Access to Power Outlets

4. Service Points

4.1       Members Readily Approach Service Desks

4.2       Service Desks Adjust to Changing Needs

4.3       Members Receive Assistance When and Where They Need It

4.4       Members Receive the Kind of Assistance They Need

4.5       Additional Reading

5. Policies and Customer Service

5.1       Your Library Has a Service Philosophy

5.2       Your Staff Members Know and Live Your Service Philosophy

5.3       There Is as Little Policy as Possible

5.4       Library Policies Empower Staff

5.5       Staff Members Are Friendly and Genuinely Want to Help

5.6       Service Is Consistent across Departments and Modalities

5.7       Service Is Consistent across the Organization

6. Signage and Wayfinding

6.1       Your Library Has a Brand Manual That Is Consistent with the Principles of Graphic Design

6.2       All Signage Uses the Same Visual Language

6.3       Different Types of Signs Are Visually Distinct

6.4       There Are as Few Signs as Possible

6.5       There Are No Paper Signs Taped to Walls, Doors, Tables, Computers, or Any Other Surfaces

6.6       Regulatory Signs Are Written in a Plain, Polite, and Friendly Manner

6.7       Library Cards Contain Useful Information and Employ the Library’s Visual Language

6.8       First-Time Visitors Can Easily Locate All Parts of the Library

6.9       Additional Reading

7. Online Presence

7.1       Members Can Easily Search for Library Items and Place Holds

7.2       Members Can Easily Accomplish Critical Tasks

7.3       The Size of Your Website Is Commensurate with the Amount of Effort You Can Devote to It

7.4       Web Content Is Engaging

7.5       Content Is Written for the Web

7.6       Website Employs Web Design Conventions

7.7       Home Page Clearly Expresses What People Can Do on Your Site

7.8       Website Is Easy to Use on All Devices

7.9       Website Employs the Library’s Visual Language

7.10     You Use Social Media in Meaningful Ways

7.11     Additional Reading

8. Using the Library

8.1       The Technology in Your Library Is Relevant, Useful, and Usable

8.2       Collections Are Relevant to Member Needs

8.3       Marketing Materials Are Relevant to Member Needs

8.4       You Merchandize Your Materials

8.5       Library Services and Programs Solve Problems

8.6       Additional Reading

9. Wrapping Up: Philosophy, Process, and Culture

9.1       Whole Library Thinking

9.2       The Design Process

9.3       Your Organizational Culture

9.4       Parting Words

Appendix: Keeping Score

Index


About the Authors

Aaron Schmidt has worked as a circulation clerk, young adult librarian, reference librarian, and library director. Currently he is Principal of Influx Library User Experience, a design firm dedicated to integrating UX design into libraries. He writes a column in Library Journal called “The User Experience,” lectures at San José State University’s School of Library and Information Science, and serves on the editorial board for Weave: Journal of Library User Experience. He blogs about library design at Walking Paper.

Amanda Etches is Head of Discovery & Access at the University of Guelph Library, where she spends her time guiding teams and projects that are all about making the library experience better for users, both in person and online. She is also part of Influx, a user experience consultancy that works with libraries. She frequently writes and presents on web design, usability, and user experience practices and trends. She tweets @etches and blogs at etc., two places where you are likely to find her feeling guilty about having so much fun doing exactly what she is supposed to be doing.
 
 

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