SPEC Kit 322: Library User Experience  ·  37
LibQUAL+® Lite, Canadian national edition.
survey. “LibQUAL+® is a suite of services that libraries use to solicit, track, understand, and act upon users’
opinions of service quality.”
Library Live is an all-day conference for faculty and graduate students highlighting information resources, tools, and
Library services: two combined studies looking at building use, activities engaged in while in the building (survey and
unobtrusive observation), and a reference question analysis project.
Overhaul and redesign of library’s website.
Re-envisioning first floor as student-centered, collaborative spaces that offer rich technologies and high quality services
from the libraries and several university partners.
Redesigning the old computer lab from rows of computers to include modern collaborative spaces while maintaining
individual workstations. Redesigning study rooms.
Renovation of a branch library.
Single Search Box Usability Testing: users were asked to search for an item on the website or in a database using a
single search box.
Studied use of various reference services. Analyzed categories of questions asked at the desk (notes are kept in online
database) and through virtual services. Satisfaction survey/feedback form was redesigned and linked from these
services. Services are currently undergoing a redesign based on the results. Partially related to this was a study of how
students use the physical spaces in the central library including the main information desk.
Student Advisory board and an ad hoc provost-formed student group with library and university staff are gathering
ideas for the renovation of the 1st floor, long wished for, partially planned, but not definitely funded. Now that the
university has agreed and has hired an architect, the planning is moving along quickly.
Survey to assess instruction.
The concept for Patron for a Day (PFAD) was generated in one of the first meetings of the User Experience group.
The discussion focused on how empathy is a key ingredient in “design thinking” and we wanted to find a way to help
our staff build empathy for our users. Technically speaking, PFAD is a collection of three different tests, taken by staff
volunteers at one of our four different locations. Practically speaking, it is an opportunity for staff to learn what it is like
to be a user by performing a series of tasks patrons regularly perform in our physical spaces. While designing a series of
tests to develop empathy, we realized we were also designing usability tests of our physical spaces. Some tasks required
interaction with technology, such as scanners and computers, while others just required interaction with the physical
space and collections. Some tasks were easy “find the restroom;” others were harder “scan pages from book X and
send to your e-mail.” In most cases, staff members visited libraries they were less familiar with to complete their “test.”
They were asked to take notes about their experience (good and bad) and, after completion, were asked to rate each
task and enter their comments into an established web form. We had twenty volunteers complete one of three different
tests at one of four locations.
The concept for the University of Washington Libraries Research Commons came out of the Libraries’ desire to respond
to the evolving research and collaborative needs of student and faculty. The growth of data-driven research, digital
scholarship, and interdisciplinary studies required a re-examination of services and physical spaces being provided for
our community. The consolidation of print collections and service points at the UW Libraries, in response to budget
reductions and trends away from physical collection use, left the ground floor of the Allen South Library available for
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