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LOOK FIRST
Creating Exceptional Patron Experiences
Erica Reynolds
Librarian, Former IT Manager, &
Current Director of Library Partnership
Development at BiblioCommons
@queeq...
“Don’t quack like a duck,
soar like an eagle.”
~ Ken Blanchard
• Quacking
• Not empowered
• Responding to everything
• Part of the crowd
https://www.flickr.com/photos/a440/
DUCK TRAITS
• Soaring
• Empowered
• Observing before reacting
• High view
https://www.flickr.com/photos/lens-cap/
EAGLE TRAITS
https://www.flickr.com/photos/epiphonication/
Where to Observe?
• Physical Library
• Online Library
• The Exciting Place In Between
It’s not just about finding what’s not
working. It’s also finding what is.
Avoid biasing your observations with negative o...
Tools & Activities
• Walk in the patron’s path
• Simple observations
• Interviews: On the fly and Scheduled
• Secret shopp...
Walk in the patron’s path
• In person
– Decide: Why are you coming to the library today?
– Do it once as a new patron and ...
Walk in the patron’s path
• Online:
– Decide: Why are you coming to the library’s
website today?
– Do it once as a new pat...
Walk in the patron’s path
• In between: Mobile & More:
– As a new patron: You’ve just moved to town, and
want to visit the...
Simple observations
• Sit, look, and listen
• Watch people as they come in
• What do they do, where do they go?
• Record w...
Interviews: On the fly
• As people use the library, ask them
questions. Let them know that you’re looking
at how to improv...
Interviews: On the fly
Possible simple questions as people arrive:
• Why did you come to the library today?
• How often do...
Interviews: On the fly
Possible simple questions as people leave:
• Why did you come to the library today?
• Did you accom...
Interviews: On the fly
Possible simple questions about the library’s
technology:
• How often do you use the library’s
comp...
Interviews: Scheduled
• Scheduled interviews give you a chance for more
time and more of a script to observe and hear
more...
Interviews: Scheduled
• What to ask? The sky’s the limit! Everything
from general questions to more formal
usability studi...
Secret shoppers
• All ages
• No librarians allowed
• Out of town guests are very helpful for this
• Give them some common ...
Share your results
• After you conduct a few observations or
interviews, and you want to do more, make a
plan for easily s...
Analysis & Response
• Any low hanging fruit you could easily
improve?
• What was really working and should be
commended, s...
Before you add, what could you
subtract?
Past Studies, Interesting Findings
• Website improvements
• Intranet design
• Self-check configuration
• Shelving & signag...
Readers’ Corner = Confusing
Intranet Label: Warm Fuzzies
Most patrons go straight to the
catalog or my account
For patrons coming in, what are
they looking for?
• Known titles/picking up holds?
• Just browsing for something good?
• A...
Chicago Public Library: Before
Chicago Public Library
Chicago Public Library
Chicago Public Library
• Conducted in-person interviews, observations
and reviewed site stats
• Even very active patrons w...
Page Views on Chicago’s Previous
Site (excluding home page)
Search (52%)
My Account (33%)
Browse (4%)
Locations (4%)
Event...
In case you’d like to do more with
usability studies…
“The Secret to
Patron-Centered
Web Design: Cheap,
Easy and Powerful
...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/epiphonication/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/wackybadger/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/louisa_catlover/
Don’t forget to celebrate
https://www.flickr.com/photos/rammorrison/
Happy looking!
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Look First

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Look first presentation

  1. 1. LOOK FIRST Creating Exceptional Patron Experiences
  2. 2. Erica Reynolds Librarian, Former IT Manager, & Current Director of Library Partnership Development at BiblioCommons @queequegs erica@bibliocommons.com
  3. 3. “Don’t quack like a duck, soar like an eagle.” ~ Ken Blanchard
  4. 4. • Quacking • Not empowered • Responding to everything • Part of the crowd https://www.flickr.com/photos/a440/ DUCK TRAITS
  5. 5. • Soaring • Empowered • Observing before reacting • High view https://www.flickr.com/photos/lens-cap/ EAGLE TRAITS
  6. 6. https://www.flickr.com/photos/epiphonication/
  7. 7. Where to Observe? • Physical Library • Online Library • The Exciting Place In Between
  8. 8. It’s not just about finding what’s not working. It’s also finding what is. Avoid biasing your observations with negative or positive presumptions. Just look and listen without judgment.
  9. 9. Tools & Activities • Walk in the patron’s path • Simple observations • Interviews: On the fly and Scheduled • Secret shoppers
  10. 10. Walk in the patron’s path • In person – Decide: Why are you coming to the library today? – Do it once as a new patron and once as a current patron. – Commit! Start and end as a patron. Park in the patron’s lot. Leave from the patron’s lot. Don’t get side tracked. – Bring a notebook and pen or some way to record your experience. Note everything that catches your interest—positive, not-so-positive, and neutral. – Extra credit: do it all from a wheelchair
  11. 11. Walk in the patron’s path • Online: – Decide: Why are you coming to the library’s website today? – Do it once as a new patron (start at Google) and once as a current patron. – Commit! Start and end as a patron. Don’t get side tracked. – Record your experience. Note everything that catches your interest—positive, not-so- positive, and neutral.
  12. 12. Walk in the patron’s path • In between: Mobile & More: – As a new patron: You’ve just moved to town, and want to visit the public library. From your phone, what do you do? Can you find the library online via your phone? Is there an app? Can you find library hours and locations easily? Walk through the experience. – As a current patron: • You just received an email (on your phone) from the library that a title is coming due. Can you renew it from your phone? What happens next? • You just received an email (on your phone) that a hold is ready to be picked up. How can you figure out if the location is open and what if you forgot how to get there? Walk through it until you’ve got your title in your hand and you’ve checked it out.
  13. 13. Simple observations • Sit, look, and listen • Watch people as they come in • What do they do, where do they go? • Record what you see experience (it’s easy to just bring your laptop out on the floor for this) • Is it different in the evening, on a weekend? • Watch people use your website (position yourself by your public computers)
  14. 14. Interviews: On the fly • As people use the library, ask them questions. Let them know that you’re looking at how to improve library services, and ask if it’s ok that you ask a few questions—no more than 5 minutes of their time. • Don’t ask leading questions. Stay neutral. • If patrons are using their own devices or one of your in-house computers, feel free to ask about how they use the library’s wifi or website.
  15. 15. Interviews: On the fly Possible simple questions as people arrive: • Why did you come to the library today? • How often do you visit the library? • How often do you visit other library locations (if applicable)?
  16. 16. Interviews: On the fly Possible simple questions as people leave: • Why did you come to the library today? • Did you accomplish what you had hoped? • What else did you do while you were at the library today? (Use the computers, look at the new book shelf, etc.)
  17. 17. Interviews: On the fly Possible simple questions about the library’s technology: • How often do you use the library’s computers? • What do you use the library’s computers for? • How often do you use the library’s website? • What do you use the library’s website for? • How often do you use the library’s wifi?
  18. 18. Interviews: Scheduled • Scheduled interviews give you a chance for more time and more of a script to observe and hear more about the patrons in-library experience, online experience and/or mobile experience. • Keep them to 30-45 minutes at most. • 2 library folks to 1 patron works well (adults) • If you’re talking with teens or kids, get permission and let them outnumber you. (2 library folks to 4 kids for example.) • Remind them there are no wrong answers, and you’re just interested in hearing about their experience.
  19. 19. Interviews: Scheduled • What to ask? The sky’s the limit! Everything from general questions to more formal usability studies. Ideas: • Describe a recent library experience you had. What stood out for you? • How do you normally use the library? • If they regularly use your website, give them a blank page and ask them to draw it. • Have a computer available, and ask them to use your website/catalog as they normally would.
  20. 20. Secret shoppers • All ages • No librarians allowed • Out of town guests are very helpful for this • Give them some common tasks • Ask them to record their experiences right away so that they remember and interview them right afterwards
  21. 21. Share your results • After you conduct a few observations or interviews, and you want to do more, make a plan for easily sharing the results with others. • Set up an online survey to enter your results and to provide quick reports and charts (if applicable) • Even if it’s just 1 page (which would be great!) others will appreciate hearing about your observations and findings
  22. 22. Analysis & Response • Any low hanging fruit you could easily improve? • What was really working and should be commended, shared, celebrated? • Were any major issues identified? • Now that you did some basic looking, would more targeted observations/studies be helpful? • Perhaps a pilot project as a start?
  23. 23. Before you add, what could you subtract?
  24. 24. Past Studies, Interesting Findings • Website improvements • Intranet design • Self-check configuration • Shelving & signage planning • General enhancements of the patron experience • Anything is fair game
  25. 25. Readers’ Corner = Confusing
  26. 26. Intranet Label: Warm Fuzzies
  27. 27. Most patrons go straight to the catalog or my account
  28. 28. For patrons coming in, what are they looking for? • Known titles/picking up holds? • Just browsing for something good? • A Mix? Known title Something Good • More adult browsers on the weekends • Families saw coming to the library as a regular family social activity
  29. 29. Chicago Public Library: Before
  30. 30. Chicago Public Library
  31. 31. Chicago Public Library
  32. 32. Chicago Public Library • Conducted in-person interviews, observations and reviewed site stats • Even very active patrons were often unaware of the majority of library services • Patrons were attracted to the label “Hidden Gems” • Most patrons weren’t interested in traditional research but very interested in information around life events, aspirations, and activities (planning a wedding, learning a language, travel, cooking, etc.)
  33. 33. Page Views on Chicago’s Previous Site (excluding home page) Search (52%) My Account (33%) Browse (4%) Locations (4%) Events (2%) Help (1.5%) Online Resources (1%) Services (1%) About (0.5) 85%
  34. 34. In case you’d like to do more with usability studies… “The Secret to Patron-Centered Web Design: Cheap, Easy and Powerful Usability Techniques” Computers in Libraries Jun 2008
  35. 35. https://www.flickr.com/photos/epiphonication/
  36. 36. https://www.flickr.com/photos/wackybadger/
  37. 37. https://www.flickr.com/photos/louisa_catlover/
  38. 38. Don’t forget to celebrate https://www.flickr.com/photos/rammorrison/
  39. 39. Happy looking!

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