Experimentation and Innovation in Libraries: From Design Thinking to LeanUX

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Few industries face the kind of disruption that the library industry faces today with e-resources, the Internet, mobile everything, and limited revenues. Yet the need for libraries has never been …

Few industries face the kind of disruption that the library industry faces today with e-resources, the Internet, mobile everything, and limited revenues. Yet the need for libraries has never been greater to service communities and provide the skills, knowledge, and literacy required for the 21st Century.

This talk WIll Evans, Director of Design and Research and Design Thinker-in-Residence at NYU Stern will explore Design Thinking, User Experience Design, and LeanUX, how libraries may learn from these, and apply them in everyday work so that libraries can become innovation hubs within their communities.

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  • 1. Experimentation & Innovation In Libraries From Design Thinking to LeanUX @Seman'cWill  
  • 2. WILL EVANS Director of Design & Research TLC Labs / The Library Corporation Design Thinker-in-Residence NYU Stern Graduate School of Management
  • 3. Let’s start with an exercise!
  • 4. Which is timed
  • 5. You have 3 minutes Ask your neighbor: Why do we need libraries? then Snap a quick photo of them Post their response w. image to Twitter, using the Hashtag #TLCU13
  • 6. Background
  • 7. What is the purpose of libraries? To be a community gathering place? To promote lifelong learning? To help people navigate the information flow? To empower a more informed citizenry? To store print documents for the historic record?
  • 8. What Challenges Have We Faced?
  • 9. Even though digital and behavior are my medium, I still love physical books that offer so many things digital simply can’t.
  • 10. “I’ve learned that when you keep the focus solely on your local patron’s experience and direct your efforts only toward improving that experience, you’re giving the taxpayer an increasingly valuable return on their investment.” – Eli Neiburger
  • 11. Across the country, libraries are providing services and crafting experiences that make patrons' visits meaningful and pleasurable.
  • 12. What is UX Design?
  • 13. User experience is about how you design solutions and services that solve real human needs…
  • 14. True Fact A significant percentage of the UX community have an LIS background.
  • 15. Principles of UX •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  Articulated context Focus on people, not technology Centered on customer’s needs, goals, desires Clear hierarchy of information and tasks Focus on simplicity; reduce visual complexity Provide strong information scent Use constraints appropriately Make actions reversible Provide meaningful feedback
  • 16. Variant •  Products and services must serve people •  Respect all ways in which value is delivered to customers •  Use technology intelligently to serve the customer experience Doesn’t this sound a lot like the values of library science?
  • 17. Problem vs. Solution “Focus on the problem. If you’re only excited about the solution, you’ll lose interest when your solution doesn’t fix the problem.” - Adil Wali, CTO of ModCloth
  • 18. What is Design Thinking?
  • 19. Design Thinking Premise Only through contact, observation, and empathy with customer’s can you hope to design solutions to fit their needs and make their world a better place.
  • 20. As opposed to? •  We have this problem, lets jump in and brainstorm a solution. •  We have a new technology, what can we possibly use it for? •  Our competitors just launched X; how quickly can we also do X? •  Our director just imagined this amazing project, lets get funding and hire someone to build or buy it for us.
  • 21. 4 Key Elements to Design Thinking We have this problem, lets jump in and brainstorm a solution We have a new technology, what can we possibly use it for? Our competitors just launched X; how quickly can we also do X? •  Empathy through research •  Framing the problem •  Generative Ideation •  Prototyping & validation
  • 22. Three Overlapping Constraints
  • 23. Where is Design Innovation?
  • 24. Ideation Process
  • 25. WHAT IS LEAN STARTUP?
  • 26. Minimize TOTAL time through the loop
  • 27. How to do it: Lean Startup Meta-Rules 1.  2.  3.  4.  “Get out of the building” – talk to people. Clearly articulate & test your assumptions. Iterate based on what you learned. Don’t invest in anything that isn’t validated
  • 28. Early Assumptions Can Include: 1.  2.  3.  4.  5.  Who is our customer? What pain points to they have? How will we solve their pain points? What is the most important thing they need? How are we different? Which you turn into testable hypotheses!
  • 29. Formulating Your Test Falsifiable hypothesis = [Specific Repeatable Action] Will [Expected Measurable Outcome]
  • 30. 4 Key Elements to Lean UX We have this problem, lets jump in and brainstorm a solution We have a new technology, what can we possibly use it for? Our competitors just launched X; how quickly can we also do X? •  •  •  •  Empathy through research Framing the problem Generative Ideation Prototyping & validation
  • 31. BASICS OF CUSTOMER RESEARCH
  • 32. “Insight about customer behavior and work patterns were never discovered sitting at your desk.”     *
  • 33. Research, when done well, creates a deep sense of empathy for others.     *
  • 34. The real world presents real challenges, which you will never experience in an office.     *
  • 35. Understanding context involves being-there.     *
  • 36. Understanding implies deep engagement.     *
  • 37. You are not the customer.     *
  • 38. Background
  • 39. Why Research? Insights about an industry, market, or customer segment were never discovered sitting on your couch (or at your desk!)
  • 40. Malkovich Bias The tendency to believe that everyone uses technology the same way you do.
  • 41. Customer Research
  • 42. How much Research Customer research?
  • 43. A Research Heuristic 12   People   0 Insights   Lot s  
  • 44. Types of Research
  • 45. ETHNOGRAGHY
  • 46. Ethnography Literally “writing culture” Ethnography is: 1.  The process of “deep hanging out.” 2.  The richest research method we have. 3.  Something you can do all the time!
  • 47. Ethnography Allows Us To
  • 48. 1. Discover the semantics of living
  • 49. 2. Decode signifiers of cultural practice
  • 50. 3. Understand the language people use.
  • 51. Keys To Good Ethnography
  • 52. Delve deeply into the context, lives, cultures, and rituals of a few people rather than study a large number of people superficially. This isn’t about booty calls, this is about relationships.
  • 53. Holistically study people’s behaviors and experiences in daily life. You won’t find this in a lab, focus group, or 5 minute interview on the street.
  • 54. Learn to ask probing, open questions, gathering as much data as possible to inform your understanding.
  • 55. Practice “active seeing,” and “active listening.” Record every minutiae of daily existence, and encode on post-its.
  • 56. Use digital tools for asynchronous data collection: Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr.
  • 57. Use collaborative sense-making activities like cynefin and affinity diagramming to understand and formulate a narrative of experience.
  • 58. AKA “Get out of the building.” CUSTOMER INTERVIEWS
  • 59. Before Interviews 12   •  •  •  •  Identify who you are interviewing Articulate customer hypotheses Craft a topic map for your interviews Write down your prompts
  • 60. 9 Keys to Interviewing 12   1.  2.  3.  4.  5.  6.  7.  8.  9.  One interview at a time Always pair interview (if you can) Introduce yourself Record the conversation Ask general, open-ended questions to get people talking As questions around the problem “Do you ever experience a problem like X” Then ask, “Tell me about the last time…” Listen more than you talk Separate behavior from narrative
  • 61. Guidelines 12   1.  It’s about empathizing. 2.  Listen, even when people go off topic 3.  Context is king – document it, and make sure the context of research maps to the problem being explored 4.  Start from the assumption that everything you know is wrong
  • 62. 4 Key Elements to Lean UX We have this problem, lets jump in and brainstorm a solution We have a new technology, what can we possibly use it for? Our competitors just launched X; how quickly can we also do X? •  •  •  •  Empathy through research Framing Problem Spaces Generative Ideation Prototyping & validation
  • 63. HOW DO WE MAKE SENSE OF THE WORLD SO WE CAN ACT IN IT? WHAT IS SENSEMAKING?
  • 64. Sensemaking
  • 65. Karl Weick “Sensemaking is, importantly, an issue of language, talk, and communication. Situations, organizations, and communities are talked into existence… Sensemaking is about the interplay of action and interpretation rather than the influence of evaluation on choice.”
  • 66. Bates’ Berrypicking Model
  • 67. A Berrypicking / Lean Startup Mashup
  • 68. Meaning exist in the interaction between agents, not in the things themselves”. - ALICIA JUARRERO
  • 69. Cynefin
  • 70. The place of your multiple belongings affiliations
  • 71. Dave Snowden We have found that [our sensemaking framework] helps people to break out of old ways of thinking and to consider intractable problems in new ways… …. It is designed to allow shared understandings to emerge through the multiple discourses of the decision-making group.
  • 72. We have this problem, lets jump in and brainstorm a solution We have a new technology, what can we possibly use it for? Our competitors just launched X; how quickly can we also do X? •  Empathy through research •  Framing Problem Spaces •  Generative Ideation •  Prototyping & validation
  • 73. GENERATIVE IDEATION
  • 74. Sketch. Pitch. Critique. TECHNICALLY THIS IS CALLED A CHARRETTE.
  • 75. Focus on the bare minimum to convey your concept
  • 76. All ideas must map to person’s goals & needs.
  • 77. Design Studio Generate lots of design concepts (options*) Present concept as stories Critique using Ritual Dissent Integrate (steal) & Iterate Check stories for coherence Converge around testable solution hypotheses *See Chris Matts Real Options Theory
  • 78. We have this problem, lets jump in and brainstorm a solution We have a new technology, what can we possibly use it for? Our competitors just launched X; how quickly can we also do X? •  Empathy through research •  Framing Problem Spaces •  Generative Ideation •  Prototyping & validation
  • 79. PROTOTYPE & VALIDATE
  • 80. Minimize TOTAL time through the loop
  • 81. Why prototype? •  Explore • Quickly create testable solution options • Identifies problems before they’re coded • Reflection-in-action* •  Experiment • Early frequent feedback from customers • Low opportunity cost •  Evolve understanding of customer behaviors * Theory in Pracice, Chris Argyris & Donald Schön
  • 82. What Fidelity? •  Low fidelity • Paper •  Medium fidelity • Axure • Omnigraffle • Indigo Studio • Clickable Wireframes •  High Fidelity • Twitter Bootstrap • jQueryUI • Zurb Foundation Beware of “endowment effect,” also called the divestiture aversion. Once people invest time/effort “sketching with code,” its very difficult to throw the concept away and explore new options.” Identify what you want to learn, pick the least effort to go through Build > Measure > Learn
  • 83. Maximize Optionality From insights, you can create multiple problem & solution hypotheses sets. It's not about designing the one right solution and refining. It's about testing many solutions to multiple problem hypotheses. It's about many small bets.
  • 84. 7 STEPS FOR LIBRARIES
  • 85. 7 Steps Uncover your patrons’ needs and goals Formulate hypotheses Question your assumptions Collaborate to generate ideas Run small, tight experiments Learning isn’t failure Amplify what works
  • 86. Questions Worth Asking What is the future of knowledge creation? What is the future of reference expertise? What is the future of knowledge discovery? What is the future of learning spaces? What is the future of maker spaces?
  • 87. CASE STUDY: EBILBIOFILE
  • 88. Hypothesis We believe that libraries need high quality MARC records for eResources, and they need them fast, so that their patrons can find the materials they really want as soon as they are available - eBiblioFile
  • 89. eBibliofile Lean Process •  Problem Exploration •  Posted to list serves asking if people suffered from our problem •  Interviewed respondees •  Solution validation •  Hand coded and delivered first batch within 2 weeks of starting the project •  Scaling •  Are serving more than 300 libraries in less than 1 year
  • 90. CASE STUDY: BOUNDLESS
  • 91. Hypothesis We believe that library home pages and PACs aren’t destinations. Libraries need to engage where people are online, in ways that build bonds with existing patrons and expose more people to all that libraries have to offer.
  • 92. Boundless Lean Process •  Found some ugly websites and called the libraries •  Asked them about their sites •  Built a WordPress template system based on what THEY told us •  Launched “MVP” to gather learnings.
  • 93. CASE STUDY: LIBRARY.SOLUTIONS
  • 94. Hypothesis We believe that libraries that really want new functionality will be early adopters, helping us refine functionality before we push it to broad production.
  • 95. LS Process •  •  •  •  Interviewed 10 people Pitched the concept Got “letters of intent” Grew to over 200 customers in 2 months
  • 96. CASE STUDY: LEANUX NYC
  • 97. Hypothesis We believe people want to learn about using Lean and Lean User Experience to drive innovation in their startups and enterprise organizations. Our hypothesis is that people would pay money to attend a three day LeanUX conference. In NYC.
  • 98. LeanUX Lean Process •  Interviewed 20 people •  Created a “Pitch MVP” •  Got 700 Email Addresses •  Built website •  Charged $295 •  400 attendees •  Huge Success
  • 99. Can we work together? Do you have some ideas worth exploring? We are interested in engaging with libraries on: Ideas you want to test Problems you want to solve Let us know…
  • 100. "My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them - as steps - to climb beyond them. He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.” - Wittgenstein
  • 101. WILL EVANS Director of Design & Research TLC Labs / The Library Corporation Design Thinker-in-Residence NYU Stern Graduate School of Management will@tlclabs.co