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Keeping UX Practical: Integrating User Experience Practices into Projects


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I participated in a Library Journal webcast on September 27, 2017, along with New York University’s Iris Bierlein and Emerald Publishing’s Kat Palmer, called “Smoothing the Path of the Research Journey: Designing for User Experience Excellence in Academic Libraries.”

This presentation is 1 of 3 presentations from that webcast.

Abstract: Leading scholars and librarians have used assessment techniques from personas to eye tracking to pin down just what are the best practices in user experience design for academic libraries. But different campuses have different needs, and as technology changes–and user expectations evolve in response–great UX remains a moving target. This webinar will cover the essential UX tools to designing an excellent experience for your own unique users–and share some key takeaways from sponsor Emerald’s own research.

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Keeping UX Practical: Integrating User Experience Practices into Projects

  1. 1. @vacekrae @UMichLibrary Keeping UX Practical Integrating User Experience Practices into Projects Rachel Vacek, Head of Design & Discovery University of Michigan Library
  2. 2. @vacekrae @UMichLibrary UX is about the user’s meaningful interaction with and perception of a product, service, or system
  3. 3. @vacekrae @UMichLibrary Benefits of UX research and testing ● See the experience from user’s perspective ● Appreciate significance of cultural differences ● Understand motivations behind actions ● Observe hidden behaviors ● Learn routines in doing research ● See how the user recovers from problems ● Embrace user’s individual experiences
  4. 4. @vacekrae @UMichLibrary User testing tips ● Keep tests practical ● Choose the right method ● Consider taking a guerilla approach ● Beware of confirmation bias ● Let the participant be the expert ● Test for accessibility and usability
  5. 5. @vacekrae @UMichLibrary Testing for accessibility & usability ● Accessibility testing involves measuring the ease in which users can complete common tasks (on your website) ● A website can be technically accessible but might still be unusable ● Recruit participants through the office on campus that helps students with disabilities ● Increases your understanding of how people with disabilities use your website ● Improve experience for all – universal design concept
  6. 6. @vacekrae @UMichLibrary Making UX iterative ● Make user research and user testing a priority as you design and develop websites ● Taking an agile approach and doing rapid prototyping brings in stakeholder and user feedback frequently ● Test on small, specific features throughout design and development lifecycle -- don’t only test the whole application
  7. 7. @vacekrae @UMichLibrary When UX is integrated into projects ● Better understand your users ● Apply gradual improvements ● Tailor services appropriately ● Adapt to changing demands ● Make evidence-based decisions ● Expand the knowledge of our colleagues and profession
  8. 8. @vacekrae @UMichLibrary Want more info? Contact me: Library IT Division Blog: