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IN FRONT OF OUR VERY EYES:
THE VALUE OF UX
RESEARCH METHODS
Andy Priestner | @andytraining
LIASA, 4 October 2017
There is no perfect anything for EVERYONE
Stop trying to create the perfect library service
Stop trying to create the perf...
There is no perfect anything for EVERYONE
We need to identify and respond to these
different groups and provide a library ...
The world has mostly moved on but libraries have not caught up yet
The world is now pursuing
variability, exploring differ...
Example: FOOD AND DRINK IN THE LIBRARY
Libraries often seek one binary solution – Yes or No:
• Banning food and drink or a...
preferences AND behaviours
only meeting expressed needs can be a big mistake
‘The mind knows
not what the
tongue wants’
Howard Moskowitz
(market researcher
and psychophysicist)
‘What people say
what people do
and
what people say they do are
entirely different things’
Margaret Mead
(anthropologist)
...
Is anyone here
looking for
love?
Shayan Zadeh (co-founder and co-CEO of Zoosk)
“There's a gulf between what people say they want,
and what their behaviour ...
Zoosk actively ignore what people initially state as
their preferences.
Instead they track user behaviour – searches and
p...
What has this got to do with libraries?
Well...
unfortunately most librarians
only really conduct:
attitudinal research
(what our users think and say)
rather than...
Also we feel most comfortable
using the least reliable
attitudinal methods available…
Attitudinal research can be
valuable...
What are the problems
with surveys?
problems with surveys
• self-reporting is unreliable
• only filled in by a percentage of users (mostly pro or anti users)
...
What we ask…
• How would you rate the library?
• How would you rate library staff?
• What library services need to be
impr...
“Users don’t think about
libraries all that much.
They use them but they
don’t think about them.
They have got much more
i...
What are the problems with focus groups?
Imagine the worst library
you can possibly think of.
Double it!
Focus group questions:
‘Is the Department of
Engineering l...
problems with focus groups
• context and options are often not offered
• pleasing the convenors
• groupthink
• introverts ...
But most importantly focus groups and surveys are attitudinal
research methods – what people think NOT what they actually ...
The solution is to open your
eyes to what is actually
going on in your libraries
and on your digital
platforms: conduct mo...
The hardest thing
to see is what is in
front of our eyes
- Goethe
UX RESEARCH:
literally user experience
research
attitudes AND behaviour
trying to get into the
shoes of our users more
htt...
User Experience is everything that happens to your users when
they interact with your service in any way (physically or re...
How do users actually
feel when they interact
with the library
website, spaces,
collections, WIFI,
furniture, signage and
...
Website
Collection
WIFI
Furniture
Staff
Psychic experiment:
Which of your library touchpoints
are currently failing users?...
What are the main UX methods?
behavioural UX research methods
• observation
• behavioural mapping
• shadowing / journey mapping
• usability testing
• to...
OBSERVATION and
BEHAVIOURAL MAPPING
METHOD:
Spend concentrated time observing how
people actually use and move about the
library.
Record and map the results o...
Books as furniture…
Entranceway activity…
Food and drink requirements…
Behavioural map: routes and destinations
10 maps combined show the most popular
seats, services and routes through this library…
Desire lines should dictate layout…
Design guidelines for spaces with
different study intensities
USABILITY
TESTING
METHOD:
Observe and record how a user navigates a
digital library platform (e.g. website,
catalogue, discovery layer) whil...
• Finding the Library on the University website: ‘I
can’t find it anywhere, its like they’re
deliberately hiding it.’
• Op...
USER JOURNEY
MAPPING
METHOD:
Observe how a user completes a common
library task or activity e.g. Finding a book,
booking a study room
What do t...
Students wore eyetracking glasses so we
could see exactly where they looked as
they tried to find a book on a reading list...
‘Work like a
patron day’
…to discover
how it feels
to walk
around in
their shoes
TOUCHSTONE TOURS
METHOD:
Ask a user to give you a tour around the library.
What do they show you? What do they say? What’s
important to the...
UX research also incorporates attitudinal methods
that go much deeper than surveys and focus groups
attitudinal UX research methods
• user research interviews
• cognitive mapping
• card sorting
• cultural probes
• love and...
USER RESEARCH
INTERVIEWS
METHOD:
Conducting 1-2-1 interviews with users in order to
understand their preferences, issues and priorities
Not a conve...
Going beyond what they initially tell you - about
detail, empathy, culture and context
If you don’t dig deep enough you ma...
COGNITIVE
MAPPING
METHOD:
Asking a user to draw a map of either the
library or their wider study experience.
Drawing brings out different as...
Drawing brings out
different aspects to
verbal or written
research techniques.
Focus is on the the
drawing not the user so...
LOVE AND BREAK
-UP LETTERS
METHOD:
Learning about the experience of a user
through the medium of a handwritten love
or break-up letter to a product o...
’It’s not me. It’s you…
the lack of comfort I feel. Are
you hot or cold? Comfy or
hard? Make up your mind!... the
lack of ...
however well you conduct attitudinal research
you must supplement with behavioural methods
common
barriers to
UX research
https://flic.kr/p/2j4Ryz
I already know what users are doing
It’s an invasion of user privacy
People won’t agree to help
It’s boring
It takes too l...
Why does UX matter now?
Yes, it’s interesting, but so what?
https://flic.kr/p/5cQ6tF
• because today’s users are very
different (the world is changing more
rapidly) and there is much more of a
disconnect bet...
‘the library in the life of the user
not the user in the life of the library’
Lorcan Dempsey
Also… UX takes a more holisti...
WHAT CHANCE UX
IN SOUTH AFRICA?
Culture of Tradition Culture of Innovation
Infrastructure Immobility Infrastructure Agility
Library Staff Focus Library Us...
surely user-centricity should be the core mission of libraries?
https://flic.kr/p/nSDsAZ
RICHER AND DEEPER
KNOWLEDGE OF
USER EXPERIENCE
If you are interested in holding UX research training days at your
institution please get in touch: info@andypriestnertrai...
In front of our very eyes  the value of UX research methods
In front of our very eyes  the value of UX research methods
In front of our very eyes  the value of UX research methods
In front of our very eyes  the value of UX research methods
In front of our very eyes  the value of UX research methods
In front of our very eyes  the value of UX research methods
In front of our very eyes  the value of UX research methods
In front of our very eyes  the value of UX research methods
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In front of our very eyes the value of UX research methods

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A presentation I gave on the value of applying User Experience research methods in libraries at the LIASA conference in Johannesburg, South Africa in October 2017.

Published in: Education
  • Dear Andy I attended your presentation during the conference and it was an eye opener for me. User experience is trending in many organisations but for libraries it was an eye opener as we use surveys most of the time. This means we need to adopt various methods as per your presentation to really dig deeper and get to the bottom of UX
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In front of our very eyes the value of UX research methods

  1. 1. IN FRONT OF OUR VERY EYES: THE VALUE OF UX RESEARCH METHODS Andy Priestner | @andytraining LIASA, 4 October 2017
  2. 2. There is no perfect anything for EVERYONE Stop trying to create the perfect library service Stop trying to create the perfect spaghetti sauce
  3. 3. There is no perfect anything for EVERYONE We need to identify and respond to these different groups and provide a library service that is varied enough that it works despite that diversity of expectation and behaviour.
  4. 4. The world has mostly moved on but libraries have not caught up yet The world is now pursuing variability, exploring differences of experience and opinion and celebrating diversity The world only used to pursue universal truths and absolutes (I said mostly - politics is an obvious exception and is as binary as it ever was!)
  5. 5. Example: FOOD AND DRINK IN THE LIBRARY Libraries often seek one binary solution – Yes or No: • Banning food and drink or allowing food and drink Asking users doesn’t solve the problem: • Want food and drink / don’t want food and drink / don’t care Alternative approach – embracing complexity: • We allow food and drink in certain areas within certain parameters to ensure the food and drink preferences and behaviours of all our different user groups are supported
  6. 6. preferences AND behaviours only meeting expressed needs can be a big mistake
  7. 7. ‘The mind knows not what the tongue wants’ Howard Moskowitz (market researcher and psychophysicist)
  8. 8. ‘What people say what people do and what people say they do are entirely different things’ Margaret Mead (anthropologist) 1901-1978
  9. 9. Is anyone here looking for love?
  10. 10. Shayan Zadeh (co-founder and co-CEO of Zoosk) “There's a gulf between what people say they want, and what their behaviour reveals about what they actually want.” Zoosk chooses to watch what their customers do, instead of just focusing on what they say.
  11. 11. Zoosk actively ignore what people initially state as their preferences. Instead they track user behaviour – searches and profile views - and this feeds into an algorithm which dictates which recommended profiles are shown. Zoosk have noticed that the profiles users view and the people they choose to go on dates with are often completely contrary to the preferences they initially stated. What is going on? • Peer and societal pressure • People don’t know what they want until they see it https://flic.kr/p/drRjwm https://flic.kr/p/drRjwm
  12. 12. What has this got to do with libraries?
  13. 13. Well... unfortunately most librarians only really conduct: attitudinal research (what our users think and say) rather than behavioural research (what our users actually do)
  14. 14. Also we feel most comfortable using the least reliable attitudinal methods available… Attitudinal research can be valuable but we tend to conduct it very poorly Step forward… surveys and focus groups
  15. 15. What are the problems with surveys?
  16. 16. problems with surveys • self-reporting is unreliable • only filled in by a percentage of users (mostly pro or anti users) • leading questions • qualitative questions are not answered • there are far too many of them • they do not represent a real or full picture of experience Let’s take a look at a typical library survey…
  17. 17. What we ask… • How would you rate the library? • How would you rate library staff? • What library services need to be improved? • Would you use the new <blank> service? • What do you think of our training programme? • Have you got any other comments? What they say ‘Very good’ ‘Good’ ‘More books’ ‘No’ ‘Great’ <blank> What they are probably thinking I get most things I need… I think I’m not really sure what they do beyond shelving, but they’re nice I can’t think what else to put here No idea! I’m gonna put ‘No’. Or maybe ‘Yes’. No, I’m putting ‘No’ I didn’t even know there was one I don’t really think about the library all that much
  18. 18. “Users don’t think about libraries all that much. They use them but they don’t think about them. They have got much more interesting things to think about than how to help us improve our services.” Andy Priestner
  19. 19. What are the problems with focus groups?
  20. 20. Imagine the worst library you can possibly think of. Double it! Focus group questions: ‘Is the Department of Engineering library service fit for purpose?’ ‘Are any changes needed to its services, spaces or staffing?’
  21. 21. problems with focus groups • context and options are often not offered • pleasing the convenors • groupthink • introverts are not heard (or are just not there!) • people are completely awful at predicting their future behaviour
  22. 22. But most importantly focus groups and surveys are attitudinal research methods – what people think NOT what they actually do
  23. 23. The solution is to open your eyes to what is actually going on in your libraries and on your digital platforms: conduct more behavioural research into the experience of your users
  24. 24. The hardest thing to see is what is in front of our eyes - Goethe
  25. 25. UX RESEARCH: literally user experience research attitudes AND behaviour trying to get into the shoes of our users more https://flic.kr/p/7rzrY7
  26. 26. User Experience is everything that happens to your users when they interact with your service in any way (physically or remotely) It includes everything they see, everything they hear, everything they do, as well as their emotional reactions. https://flic.kr/p/dt2Smp
  27. 27. How do users actually feel when they interact with the library website, spaces, collections, WIFI, furniture, signage and staff? These can all be termed ‘TOUCHPOINTS’. And you have to ask yourselves whether each touchpoint results in a GOOD or BAD user experience
  28. 28. Website Collection WIFI Furniture Staff Psychic experiment: Which of your library touchpoints are currently failing users? Total Fail Some Fail Signage
  29. 29. What are the main UX methods?
  30. 30. behavioural UX research methods • observation • behavioural mapping • shadowing / journey mapping • usability testing • touchstone tours
  31. 31. OBSERVATION and BEHAVIOURAL MAPPING
  32. 32. METHOD: Spend concentrated time observing how people actually use and move about the library. Record and map the results over several hour-long sessions to gather insights into potential improvements.
  33. 33. Books as furniture…
  34. 34. Entranceway activity…
  35. 35. Food and drink requirements…
  36. 36. Behavioural map: routes and destinations
  37. 37. 10 maps combined show the most popular seats, services and routes through this library…
  38. 38. Desire lines should dictate layout…
  39. 39. Design guidelines for spaces with different study intensities
  40. 40. USABILITY TESTING
  41. 41. METHOD: Observe and record how a user navigates a digital library platform (e.g. website, catalogue, discovery layer) while performing simple search tasks. Identify confusing/failing elements. Conducted remotely or in person.
  42. 42. • Finding the Library on the University website: ‘I can’t find it anywhere, its like they’re deliberately hiding it.’ • Opening hours page: ‘so complicated – I think it’s been designed to induce distress’ • The discovery layer: ‘it feels like the librarians are maliciously offering bad content’ • Jargon: ‘I don’t know what any of that means. Jeez! Stop with the acronyms!’
  43. 43. USER JOURNEY MAPPING
  44. 44. METHOD: Observe how a user completes a common library task or activity e.g. Finding a book, booking a study room What do they find difficult? How long does it take? What makes them give up?
  45. 45. Students wore eyetracking glasses so we could see exactly where they looked as they tried to find a book on a reading list • optimistically browsing shelves • ignoring signs • reluctance to use catalogue • giving up on task • self-doubt: ‘I can’t library’, ‘I’m not very good at libraries’ • importance of colour
  46. 46. ‘Work like a patron day’ …to discover how it feels to walk around in their shoes
  47. 47. TOUCHSTONE TOURS
  48. 48. METHOD: Ask a user to give you a tour around the library. What do they show you? What do they say? What’s important to them? What do they/don’t they like?
  49. 49. UX research also incorporates attitudinal methods that go much deeper than surveys and focus groups
  50. 50. attitudinal UX research methods • user research interviews • cognitive mapping • card sorting • cultural probes • love and break-up letters • grafitti walls • photo elicitation studies • generative research (e.g. LEGO)
  51. 51. USER RESEARCH INTERVIEWS
  52. 52. METHOD: Conducting 1-2-1 interviews with users in order to understand their preferences, issues and priorities Not a conversation. Letting the user have the floor and detail their experience in depth.
  53. 53. Going beyond what they initially tell you - about detail, empathy, culture and context If you don’t dig deep enough you may as well just do a survey Example: recent design workshop at the University of Wolverhampton • 3 happy Chinese visiting students • 3 PhD students angry about the PhD room • 1 PhD student who didn’t like the discovery layer • 1 Professor with database authentication issues
  54. 54. COGNITIVE MAPPING
  55. 55. METHOD: Asking a user to draw a map of either the library or their wider study experience. Drawing brings out different aspects to verbal or written research techniques.
  56. 56. Drawing brings out different aspects to verbal or written research techniques. Focus is on the the drawing not the user so they feel more comfortable Different coloured pens used to denote priority Not about artistic skill just simple expression
  57. 57. LOVE AND BREAK -UP LETTERS
  58. 58. METHOD: Learning about the experience of a user through the medium of a handwritten love or break-up letter to a product or service.
  59. 59. ’It’s not me. It’s you… the lack of comfort I feel. Are you hot or cold? Comfy or hard? Make up your mind!... the lack of space when I just want to study and spend time with you… the lack of reception and poor WIFI when all I wanted was a connection with you… I could go on but I’m done with trying to make things work’
  60. 60. however well you conduct attitudinal research you must supplement with behavioural methods
  61. 61. common barriers to UX research https://flic.kr/p/2j4Ryz
  62. 62. I already know what users are doing It’s an invasion of user privacy People won’t agree to help It’s boring It takes too long I’m not a researcher I’m too busy to do it BARRIER/OBJECTION MY RESPONSE You probably don’t. I am routinely surprised. If you explain why you’re doing it, people are generally fine Recruitment is an issue, but more people will help than you imagine, plus ad hoc is better than pre-arranged It’s actually pretty fascinating and addictive Should be done quickly, UX is not about gathering final proof, but identifying actionable insights to test (fail fast, fail cheap) You don’t need to be, these methods are easy to conduct Is what you’re busy doing more important than learning about user behaviours and preferences?
  63. 63. Why does UX matter now? Yes, it’s interesting, but so what? https://flic.kr/p/5cQ6tF
  64. 64. • because today’s users are very different (the world is changing more rapidly) and there is much more of a disconnect between them and us • student experience is on every University’s agenda • methods are engaging and participative • relatively inexpensive • pragmatic, evidence-based approach • can use reliable data to design services and products that are more relevant and much needed Why UX..?
  65. 65. ‘the library in the life of the user not the user in the life of the library’ Lorcan Dempsey Also… UX takes a more holistic approach
  66. 66. WHAT CHANCE UX IN SOUTH AFRICA?
  67. 67. Culture of Tradition Culture of Innovation Infrastructure Immobility Infrastructure Agility Library Staff Focus Library User Focus Fear of Failure Acceptance of Failure UX ADOPTION IN LIBRARIES: institutional character & the opportunity for UX adoption UX ADOPTION SUCCESSFUL UNSUCCESSFUL
  68. 68. surely user-centricity should be the core mission of libraries? https://flic.kr/p/nSDsAZ
  69. 69. RICHER AND DEEPER KNOWLEDGE OF USER EXPERIENCE
  70. 70. If you are interested in holding UX research training days at your institution please get in touch: info@andypriestnertraining.com Thank You.

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