Designing for Digital is a two-day conference packed with intensive, hands-on workshops and informative sessions meant to help educate and expose library and information professionals to colleagues working on user experience, discovery, design and usability projects inside and outside of libraries, drawing expertise from the tech and education communities, as well as from peers.

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Thursday, February 26 • 11:15am - 12:00pm
Fast Talks: UX Projects & Research

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Fast Talks: UX Projects & Research

This 45-minute session allows for 10 minute Fast Talks on four projects.  Find these presenters later in the day to dive into details or ask questions. 

1. A Library Catalog UX Study in Preparation for a Website Redesign
Mary Marissen, Collections Specialist, Swarthmore College Library

The consortium of Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr and Haverford College Libraries had plans already in place to engage a web design firm for a catalog redesign, when a Swarthmore alumnus, professional UX consultant and educator, volunteered his expertise to guide a UX study for the site. Under his guidance and with the help of a full-time student intern, we conducted formative user tests to learn how students understand the catalog and navigate searches. We shared our study and resulting recommendations with the design firm, who in conjunction with their own processes, will be ready to unveil the new site design in February 2015.

2. Designing for Better Database Discovery: Simplifying a Complicated Problem
Alex Sundt, Web Services Librarian, Utah State University

Despite the power of web-scale discovery, to effectively search large and diverse e-resource collections, library users still need to utilize the native search features of many databases. But often just choosing a good resource can be a difficult task, forcing users to invest significant time and energy trying out different options to find the database that’s “just right” for their information needs. Without strong cues, meaningful descriptions, or appropriate tools to help identify good resources, users resort to trial and error, or turn to databases that have worked well in the past, only to be frustrated when these strategies don’t meet their current needs. To alleviate this guesswork, a team of librarians and programmers at the Merrill-Cazier Library decided to investigate ways to support better decision-making and reduce the interaction costs for users wanting to browse our e-resource collection. Informed by an earlier usability study, our new design simplifies the user experience, while improving database presentation and adding navigation options that can help users make more informed and successful resource selections. This session will demonstrate our design prototype, describe initial findings from user testing, and propose additional steps and potential enhancements to increase the usefulness of this design.

3. UX @ NYU Libraries: How One Library Department is Incorporating UX Methods for a Better Web Presence
Juliana Culbert, Emerging Technologies Librarian at Rochester Institute of Technology, formerly part of UX Dept. at NYU Libraries

The plethora of user centered methods can make it hard to determine what approaches fit best when trying to improve library interfaces for users. In this session, you’ll hear about some effective UX methods the User Experience Department at NYU Libraries employs to create a better, more user-friendly web presence. As a small, versatile department, we work with stakeholders from around the university to incorporate user centered methods into agile product design and development.

4. Rinse & Repeat Usability Testing
Marie Maxey, Product Analyst, UX, SAGE Publications

At SAGE we’re experimenting with the ability to use a ‘rinse and repeat’ styled approach to our user testing practice. Our goal is to get better at what we do every time we do it, while keeping our methods flexible and responsive to our products requirements. We’re weighing the costs and benefits of different approaches – when are we best served by classic talk-out-loud usability methods? And when do we need a hybrid test that includes semi-structured interviews at the end? How can we best determine tester proficiency, to help inform our analysis of test results? We’d like to achieve a system that encourages our test participants to ‘come again’ and have a long term relationship with us, with the goal of continuing to recruit new participants to build a community around our products.


This is part of the Designing for Digital Conference.  Learn more at www.designingfordigital.com.

Thursday February 26, 2015 11:15am - 12:00pm CST
Room 102

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