Discussion: In person interviews for UX Studies

ACRL/NY User Experience (UX) Discussion Group


November 12, 2010

Present: Carrie Netzer Wajda, Jeffrey Kroessler, Steve Essig, Amy Ballmer, Madeline Cohen, Jane Suda, Karen Erani, Caroline Fuchs, Stephanie Gross, Stefanie Havelka, Mark Aaron Polger

Discussion Topic: In person interviews for User Experience Studies

Carrie talked about how in person interviews can be used for web usability and user interface design studies. Camtasia was briefly discussed. Focus groups was also discussed as a method to gather data about our users. Carrie talked about Nancy Foster, who has studied students, tracked them to see what they were doing. She used in person interviews, and conversations, with follow-up questions. Questions need to be open-ended.  She spoke about videotaping users. Some faculty may feel uncomfortable as they worry about institutional politics. Some feel it’s intrusive. Carrie spoke about social media, a brand of public relations (Facebook and Twitter are some popular examples). Face to face is very important

Mark spoke of his experiences in his study on library jargon on top-level library web sites. He surveyed 300 students and over 500 librarians and compared what students prefer on top-level pages of library web sites. He compared this to what librarians report on their library web pages. His study is being considered for publication in the journal Library Philosophy and Practice, annual volume 2011.

Carrie discussed how libraries can contact consulting groups to manage user experience studies.  One such consulting group is Adaptive Path. www.adaptivepath.com

The group discussed how to get a student sample.

The group also discussed the current trend of Federated search tools on their library web sites.  They discussed EBSCO Discovery and Summit as some examples. Some prefer individual databases as opposed to using and promoting Federated searching to their users.

They discussed the balance of teaching students appropriate language so they can learn but some argued that making the language and search screens simple and straight forward may be helpful. The group agreed that they need to know their students.

User experience studies represent a large part of assessment. It is important to attend departmental meetings to get faculty sample.  Assessment can be paper or electronic. It is important to find your users in their spaces (café, campus center, office, and department).

Meeting adjourned at 10:30am.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Mark Aaron Polger, ACRL/NY User Experience Co-Chair 2010.





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Fall Meet and Greet: Friday, 11/12, Mercy College

Interested in doing user experience studies at your library but don’t know how?

Join ACRL/NY’s User Experience Discussion Group on Friday, November 12th at Mercy College from 9:15 to 10:30 am to meet librarians interested in and working on user experience studies.

We will discuss types of projects and interviewing techniques for getting effective answers out of our patrons, faculty and colleagues.

Networking from 9:15-9:30, discussion from 9:30-10:30. Refreshments will be served.

This meet-and-greet is open to anyone who wishes to come; you will need ID to get into the building.


Mercy College Manhattan Campus,
66 West 35th Street
New York, NY 10001

The B/D/F/N/Q/R/M trains all go to Herald Square.

Questions? Leave a comment and we’ll get back to you.

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Discussion: Technological Changes in the Library

ACRL/NY User Experience (UX) Discussion Group
Minutes, 2/3/10 (First Regular Meeting)
Location: Berkeley College, 3 E 43rd St, 7th floor conference Room, 6:00pm-7:30 pm.
Attendees: Maureen Weicher, Mark Aaron Polger, Antonia DiGregorio, Terri Corbin-Hutchinson, Laurie Kaplan, Mike Handis, Caroline Fuchs, Carrie Wajda, Edward Keane, C. Kevin Crow.

Texting in the library: The group started the discussion by sharing their experiences on how students texting in the library and how it affects the general atmosphere in the library.

The group agreed that library users want instant gratification and texting provides that. Some libraries are offering reference services via text messages. Email reference (and emailing in general) is not fast enough for our users

Chat Reference: Colleagues discusses chat reference and the advent of text reference services. One library is thinking of offering Blackberry’s to librarians who can then provide “mobile” services to library users.

E-books: Group discussed the increase in e-books, e-reserves, and some rules that e-book providers (ebrary, Netlibrary) have. The Graduate Centre, for example, does not have any more room for paper books so their collection budget is centred around improving their e-book collection.

Web Sites for Hand-Held Devices: Group agreed that library web sites need to be re-examined. Library users expect one search interface for everything.  CUNY is now trialing EBSCOHost Integrated Search, a federated database search.

We need to consider developing “hand held” versions to web sites. There is not enough computers, so many libraries are now lending out laptops to their users. Group members each discussed their own library. Group concluded to remark that each library needs to tailor their library according to their users.

Google Apps for Education: One such library purchased a license to Google Apps for Education. Institution enhances the students experience by subscribing to resources with Google interfaces (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sites,Google Chat/Video)

(URL: http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/edu/index.html)

Millennials Article: Group discussed the article Wajda distributed on the Millennial generation. Group briefly talked about some character traits of the Millennials, people who are born after 1980. Millennials are those people who have lived most of their life in an Internet-based world.  Article link: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1437/millennials-profile

Group also discussed the importance of reaching our users via social networking sites such as Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter pages, and MySpace pages. Wajda emphasized the importance of marketing in the UX (User Experience) literature.

Trend was to weed print journals and reference titles and add more computers or add more study space.

Embedded Librarian: At the Graduate Centre, there is a librarian sitting in on selected classes (i.e. Class Librarian).  At CSI, there was a “Traveling Librarian” pilot project for a year, in which librarians would spent a few hours per week outside the library, in a high traffic study space. Some colleges and universities embed the librarian in Blackboard courses.

Meeting adjourned at 7:30pm.  Next meeting date has not been determined but it was agreed to be held sometime in the Spring (2010).

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Next UX Discussion Group Meeting: Wednesday, 2/3

Do you wonder about the future of libraries?

If you have ever been confused about how to best meet the needs of your students while planning for the future of your library, you are not alone. How do we serve our faculty and students while keeping an eye to future innovation? Come share and discuss your ideas, visions or fears of the future of libraries at the next ACRL/NY User Experience Discussion Group Meeting.


Light refreshments will be served.

Meeting will be held at Berkeley College, 3 East 43rd St, 7th Floor Conference Room, at 6:00 pm. Please RSVP so that you can get into the building. You will need to show identification.

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Meeting Report

Many thanks to the attendees of the first organizational meeting of the ACRL/NY User Experience Discussion Group, held at Mercy College in Manhattan.

With 14 participants, conversation was lively and productive. Some of the highlights of the meeting were spirited conversations about how to get feedback from our students through surveys and other research, interacting with institutional research boards, figuring out how to ask the right questions about our students’ experience of the library, and interest in learning more about the user experience field. Meeting minutes are now posted publicly on our new Minutes page.

It was decided that we would like to start a Facebook group. Future plans include a Twitter feed and perhaps a presence on LinkedIn. The next meeting of the UXDG will be held in early December; check back  soon for specific date and location.

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Inaugural meeting of the ACRL/NY User Experience Discussion Group

ACRL/NY User Experience Discussion Group

Minutes, 9/11/09 (First Organizational Meeting)

Present: Katrina Frazier, Maureen Weicher, Caroline Fuchs, Kathryn Shaughnessy, Diwata Fonte, Lou Acierno, Terri Corbin-Hutchinson, Eileen Gatti, Luise Trabucchi, Roseanne Humes, Marsha Spiegelman, Stephanie Gross, Susan Werner, Carrie Netzer Wajda (discussion group chair)

9:00-9:30 Introductions and networking

Opened the meeting at 9:30 with an introduction to the User Experience discussion group by ACRL/NY board members, followed by brief explanations of our knowledge of and interest in UX design.

Comments from the group:

  • Assumptions we make about our students’ behavior
  • Finding out what other schools are doing to research their students *
  • Use of icons to convey information on library websites
  • How to design better library websites
  • Assessment and surveys *
  • Seeing how students interact with physical spaces – one member described how the library “didn’t exist” when it did not have a physical campus presence
  • Integrating web resources into curriculum using web pages
  • Site interactivity – Steven Bill’s Designing Better Libraries site
  • UX doesn’t have to be complex – depends upon the user’s experience of a product
  • How do we create a new library experience?
  • What makes people show up to events (or not)? What makes them come to the library (or not)?
  • Academic libraries are falling behind the public library sector; how can we learn from them?
  • Greeting library patrons – placement and terminology of reference/patron services
  • Determining the message of the library
  • Conflicting messages about the library
  • The pace of rapid technological change – adapting to rapid change and identifying technologies that will stand the test of time
  • Would like to learn more about UX generally
  • Getting past library cultural divides and making our libraries an “experience” without being gimmicky
  • How to ask the right questions – using their words instead of ours, doing research and managing the process *
  • Identifying issues specific to distance learning programs
  • Faculty collaborations – LMS/Blackboard – getting our faculty online
  • Renovations and (more broadly) maximizing limited library resources to improve the library experience for our users
  • Marketing library services more generally
  • Institutional problems (legal issues with surveys or interacting with research boards)
  • Online tutorials. Are they effective? For whom?
  • Website analytics *

[Asterisks indicate topics touched on by multiple people]

Proposed meeting 2x a semester or possibly 2x a year; definitely not monthly. Carrie Netzer Wajda will follow up with a quick poll or survey to determine times and interest. Next meeting: discuss where to locate group resources online (wiki?)

Proposed and resolved the group would like to start a Facebook group; Carrie will put it together and send out invitations. Proposed that if successful we will start an additional group on LinkedIn.

Reminder that to be active participants in Discussion Group meetings, attendees do need to join ACRL/NY chapter.

Meeting adjourned 10:30 am.

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