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Strategic Planning & User Experience Design in the Library

It's at the core of what libraries do

"By designing your library with the user experience in mind, you have the potential to deepen the connection your library has with its community and make your library a place that people love to use."
- Aaron Schmidt and Amanda Etches in Useful, Usable, Desirable, a book about library user experience design

I thought UX was just for websites and other tech stuff

Not at all! User experience can be applied to just about every field and discipline under the sun. UX does have roots in human-computer interaction, though.

Don Norman, a psychologist and usability consultant who's worked with Apple, HP, and the Nielsen Norman Group is often credited as the father of UX. His book The Design of Everyday Things explains the importance of designing all types of products and services - from travel reservations to thermostats to faucets to door handles - with clarity, respect, and empathy for their future users.

In this video, Norman chats about designing for real people - not just fans of confusing doors.

But librarians aren't designers...right?

User experience plays a part in every conceivable interaction between the user and the library, from apps to bulletin boards to our self checkout machine. Here's a list of a few major touchpoints.

  • website
  • catalog
  • online reference help
  • signage in the building
  • furniture and shelving
  • computers
  • equipment
  • service desks (i.e., where you might find a librarian)

Scene from the Lion King where Mufasa and Simba look at their kingdom. Text reads everything the light touches is the user experience.