Shannon Our history - as a team and individually (Jaclyn, in spaces at public library, Shannon in testing digital interfaces), our own experience, we are self taught - no formal training (you don’t need it)
[Min 1-5] What is UX? UX is how someone feels when using a product or service. Most products have many different elements that make up the whole and UX considers both the individual and total impact of these elements. For example, a grocery store will have their flyers or emails, the parking lot, the shopping cart, the space in the store including layout, lighting and sounds, the shelving, the check-out lanes and employees, and the groceries themselves (each of which has it’s own UX considerations).
Shannon Libraries are complex and made up of many products and services. There are many ways users interact with the library, both on and offline that we can consider. Aaron Schmidt & Amanda Etches list of Library Touchpoints Don’t be alarmed! There is a lot here but any of these things can be addressed with curiosity and common sense. The trick with UX is that if any one touchpoint is poor it will undo all of the good parts in other areas. If you have a beautiful building but the staff are rude and unwelcoming, people will still have a poor impression of using the library. If your collection is amazing but your website looks like it was made in geocities in 1997, it will undermine your value. You don’t have to (and can’t) address all of these aspects at the same time, but it is a good idea to always look for a balance and get too focused on one area or neglect another area.
Shannon Probably familiar with the term usability, related to UX but not the same. Good UX is determined by 3 elements: Are you Useful (you need to meet a need or solve a problem for your users) Are you Desirable (do people want to come use the library, this is where people build a connection).Are you Usable (Need to be able to use it - think about a library database that is confusing and hard to navigate. It is full of useful information, but hardly usable)
We are going to talk about both UX and usability testing today and that is not to imply that usability is more important than usefulness or desirability. All 3 elements need to be balanced in order to create a great user experience.
Jaclyn These are the big buckets, areas we can evaluate user experience
Jaclyn UX for physical library spaces How people interact with the physical library including the layout, furniture, where service points and resources are located.
EPL did a survey, talking to people in the library The research questions developed were: What are customers doing in EPL's spaces? How would customers like to be using EPL's spaces? What are current and future trends in library spaces and customer activities? How could EPL's spaces best meet the needs of EPL's customers?
Jaclyn Traffic patterns – look at where users are naturally drawn to in you library (and where they tend to avoid). This can be useful for determining where to put a quiet study space, where the reference desk should naturally go, or where space is being wasted. It doesn`t tell you what you should do to change – that requires some analysis and more testing – but it does let you know what your users are doing now and how they are using the space.
This can be a completely free and low tech test, although it does require a bit of low profile creeping around the library.
Describe how you would do it with a floor plan and a pen
Shannon Another way to find out what your patrons think, not only what they do is to ask them.
An example of more less love - the post-its
At USASK in the Engineering Library: Online survey Paper survey (Can also do these reply boards) Results from the one here: - 2 charging towers to solve complaints about lack of plugins - additional study tables and seats were added - photocopier replaced with a new machine that scans, etc. - extended hours during key times – 24 hour safe study during exams
Some face to face interviews - students felt ownership over the space, very happy to provide feedback about it - answers were different an online opinion survey, especially around noise – where the general responses were for more quiet space, but in-person, equal demand for group space – a good example of why it’s good to reach out to your users often, and using different media
Shannon Signage – option 2 Bad signage is endemic in a world with easy access to colour printers, and the more time we spend in a space the more invisible it becomes. Very often signage is visual clutter and the more signs there are, the less people see them – they become wall paper (sometimes literally). increases cognitive load – a lot of times there are just signs upon signs of things that our patrons shouldn’t do. Unofficial looking signs on office paper are some of the worst offenders.
USASK experience Library assistants were tasked to figure out what was going on with paper signs in the library – we took down over 200 signs, and at a certain point, stopped counting; worst signs were handwritten and faded from time, oldest signs predated printers (aka they were from the 70s or 80s?). Biggest problem was inconsistencies with different units/departments all putting up signs that duplicating each other, just mixed messages Worst ones were what were meant to be temporary quiet zone signs were never taken down – one of them had a thermostat installed on top of it by facilities maintenance folks.
Shannon So that leads us to Services, but remember that service and space are tightly integrated, so sometimes when you’re asking questions about service, you’ll get comments about space, so that’s why the key to any kind of user experience work is just being curious and listening to your users – hearing their concerns, expectations, and ideas
What kind of UX testing for services can you do? (question to audience)
Jaclyn No logs – just start keeping a record of every time you say no to someone at a service desk (that can include chat or email – any interactions with patrons). Make sure you regularly review the logs and see what you can change to improve user experience for your patrons.
Jaclyn When you have made a change, but particularly when you cannot, make sure to communicate this to your users. - You told us, we listened @ University Library Responds to feedback you get in the no log, follows up, shows your accountability with your users, and that you’re listening.
Jaclyn Feedback forms after a program – but you need to take the form and do something with it!
How many of you have used a feedback form for something you’ve done? – keep your hands up How many of you did something different the next time you ran that program/did that thing based on feedback?
You may not realize this, but you’re investigating user experience!
Jaclyn The feedback you get in person can also be about your web stuff – and sometimes when you think about service, you need to also think about virtual service. So while we’re talking about the three elements as standalones, you’ll find there is a lot of overlap.
When people talk about usability testing and user experience, they’re often talking about technology and web stuff, but remember at the base, your online presence is another space where people interact with you, and where you provide service
Shannon So this is what people are usually talking about when they talk about user experience. There are lots of really technical things you can do, like A/B testing, wireframes (which this is), but you don’t need tech skills to do it!
Shannon So, the project that led us to standing here in front of you today is a web usability project that we did for the university library’s discovery service
If you want a step-by-step manual ,or more resources on how to do this kind of thing, or the other UX things we’ve described, turn your handy handout over and you’ll see an annotated list of resources – you know, we’re librarians, we just couldn’t help ourselves (pause for laughter)
We have briefly mentioned the kinds of UX testing you can do to focus on spaces and services. To talk about web UX we are going to break down what we did for a web usability test in 2015 that looked at the University Library discovery layer.
Shannon First things first! Before you get started, you need to repeat this phrase to yourself in a mirror: the website is not for you. Keep that in mind throughout The library website is a tool to help your users find stuff - books, articles, hours of operation sometimes, but not somewhere they will come to search recreationally, or explore around to see what your updated policy is on snacks in the main library (odds are good they’ve already snuck them into a carrel anyway).
(leads into why & goals)
Jaclyn Step 1: Why do you want to do usability testing? – online survey feedback told us our discovery system a problem for our users, and we’d also heard from our library staff they had a lot of issues – both using it and helping patrons to use it.
What are your goals? What do you want to learn about? – we needed to learn more about how people were using the system and the nature of the problems they were having
Once we knew why and what were trying to learn about, we could determine our method
Jaclyn Select a method In lab or in the field? - in your library space, or in the user’s space, on their laptop/mobile device? Moderated or unmoderated? - in-person facilitator who can ask open-ended questions and gain deeper insights, or through an online tool where a user completes a set of tasks in their own environment without a facilitator present? In person or remote? - in person is recommended whenever possible
What we did
Jaclyn Assemble your team! People who will run the testing and do the analysis – try to get decision makers to observe some of the tests – it is powerfully persuasive!
What supplies do you need – and what we used Space for the test (public space! Or an office!) – we did it by the reference desk The technology hardware needed for whatever you’re testing (aka a laptop or a whiteboard or post-it notes) – we used a laptop & mouse (make sure your wifi is working!)
A bit of staff time, maybe a clipboard or two
Shannon ID audience & tasks Ideal if you can get members of your primary audience, 4-8 is ideal number for each session/test – more than that and you will likely see a lot of repeated comments and patterns. This is fine, but will waste your time. More frequent tests with small numbers and iterative changes in between are more productive.
Remember though, that tasks do not equal experiences. Turn a task into a scenario. E.g., you want users to locate a peer reviewed article using your discovery layer. You could start with - you’re taking a biology class, and are given an assignment exploring efforts at conservation of different species. You’ve chosen to look into Jane Goodall’s work with chimpanzees. Where would you start to find a peer-reviewed journal article– write the tasks down and give them to the participant to read and refer back to.
You create scenarios because you want the interactions to be more real-world – you won’t get useful feedback if you just tell them what to do – it’s all about the happenstance
Shannon Your bribe for users (Remember to have some kind of incentive that’s audience appropriate (and follow your organization’s rules) - so a granola bar, or a gift card for the bookstore, or for Starbucks will help attract participants), some library bling or swag – although you might be surprised how eager people are to participate. Total cost per session can be as low as $5 or $10, depending on your bribe – you can essentially do user experience for free!
Shannon Plan the test Prepare & practice! Make your script, ensure your tasks are clear and reasonable and you have everything you need. If you can, practice your test with someone else, to make sure it runs smoothly and your tasks make sense Decide what you’re going to measure - common elements are time on task, satisfaction ratings, success rate, error rate Make sure all members of your team know what you’re testing, and when – get those decision makers and front line service people in the room if you can. Communicate these points of information: Name of product or type of task being tested Logistics - who what where when Participant profiles Tasks Metrics, questionnaires
Speak aloud commentary
Jaclyn Conduct the test You’ve done the planning, you know who your target audience is, and what your scenarios are, you have your testing gear set up, and you know how many people you want to talk to - you are ready to go!
While you are testing keep you measurements in mind (time on task, etc.) but remember to really watch and listen to what the user is saying and doing – it is amazing what you can learn by sitting back and watching someone struggle with a website.
For example, in our testing, we found that people were having major issues with a system we weren’t even testing. The searching in our discovery layer went mostly ok, some ups and downs, as expected, but every user had a problem with our link resolver, with knowing where to find the full text, or with understanding the screens we were displaying to them – which are supposed to make it easy, by the way – something to look at and likely test again in the future!
Really good to have 2 people, so you can talk it over after, we had one person facilitate, and the other just took notes and observed because we didn’t use screen cap software.
Jaclyn Analyze findings and make improvements Look over your notes and organize findings as soon as possible after the testing, preferably the same day while it’s still fresh in your mind Concentrate on the most significant/major findings Be nice to the design team when you relay results! You may not have made the website, but someone did, and they had reasons for what they did, or it was good design at the time – remember to play nice.
Make change! The most important piece of this phase is to actually implement a change based on the feedback/results And then test again. It’s easy, and you already know how.
Jaclyn What would you do? What are your ideas? How can we workshop this? Takeaway commitment - what’s your idea, how will you do it? What’s your bribe?
We’ve talked about a lot of stuff, you’ve taken notes, so what are you going to do with what you learned today?
Remember, Testing even 1 user is 100 % better than testing none Testing doesn’t have to be a big deal - and starting early will save time and work later in the project Testing can’t prove hypothesis, or use an applied scientific method - but you can get some valuable input which, combined with your expertise and common sense can make it easier for you to choose the best navigation method (for example) Testing is never done – your users and their skills & expectations will keep evolving, and you space, services, and website needs to too.
Jaclyn Feelings – it’s all about the people and how they feel about your stuff
Useful, useable, desirable!
User Experience in Libraries
Shannon Lucky & Jaclyn McLean
SLA 2016 7 May 2016
Parking lot &
Furniture & shelving
Brochures & posters
List from Schmidt & Etches, Useful, Usable, Desirable:
Applying User Experience Design to Your Library
■ Ask questions
■ Be curious
■ Test to learn, not to
■ Focus on what users
DO, not what you
WISH they’d do
■ Waste the user’s
■ Make tasks too
■ Invest in fancy gear
■ Make the user feel
guilty for pointing
Resources - Websites
■ Nielsen is a major player in the world of UX and the
Nielsen Norman Group website (nngroup.com) is full of
great resources in easily digestible blog post sizes.
Some favourites are:
– Checklist for Planning Usability Studies.
– How Many Test Users in a Usability Study?
– Usability 101: Introduction to Usability
■ Usability testing for the masses:
■ Matthew Reidsma: How we do usability testing
Resources - Books
■ Steven Krug is the expert in easy usability testing. When
you are ready to run your own usability/UX test, this is
the place to start.
– Krug, S. (2005). Don't make me think! : A common
sense approach to web usability(2nd ed.).
Indianapolis, Ind. : London: New Riders ; Pearson
– Krug, S. (2010). Rocket surgery made easy: The do-
it-yourself guide to finding and fixing usability
■ Blakiston, R. (2015). Usability testing : A practical guide
■ McDonald, C. (2014). Putting the user first : 30 strategies
for transforming library services.
■ Schmidt, A., & Etches, Amanda. (2014). Useful, usable,
desirable : Applying user experience design to your
Resources - Downloads
■ Usability test script:
■ Checklist before you start testing:
■ Full collection of useful documents on Steve
■ A sample script from Matthew Reidsma (adapted