Posted by effervescentlibrarian on September 27, 2010
QR codes are those interesting two-dimensional bar code or matrix codes that are starting to show up more and more in magazines, newspapers and posters. Originally developed in Japan for inventory control, QR, or, quick response codes, are gaining ground as an easy way to get information into the hands of users. If you want to “read” one on your smartphone, you need to use a reader like QRReader. There are many ways that libraries can incorporate QR codes that enhance the user experience. A list of what libraries are doing is available at the Library Success Wiki. Some libraries are even adding them to the library catalog.
Here at Fondren Library we have used them for many posters, to quickly let users get more information about the event.
The main thing to remember is that these are still pretty new, so you have to help guide the user to know what they are, and how to reach the additional content that they provide!
(graphics by Jeff Koffler)
It is not too difficult to create your own QR codes! Try a generator like Kaywa.
There is also an app called StickyBits, and it is a variation of QR codes. StickyBits allows people to attach digital content to a given barcode, which represents real world objects!
QR codes can enhance the information that libraries provide to our users, and help them access a world of information on their smartphone!
Posted in mobiles, ux | Leave a Comment »
Posted by effervescentlibrarian on September 13, 2010
UX in libraries is gaining in strength. The user experience deserves our attention. My title changed last December, when I went from being one of three science librarians, to a solo UX librarian. Solo UX work is not uncommon–Leah Buley markets her UX Team of One quite well. But it is hard, and now libraries have had a taste for it, the roles are expanding.
MIT Libraries just planned and designed a new User Experience Group. The purpose of their group is, “to create a holistic, user-centered, innovative approach to service design for both virtual and physical spaces, based on quantitative and qualitative assessment data that focuses on user needs.” Perfect! UX is not only about digital space. Teams can focus on digital, and physical space, and all the hundreds of little details that go into making libraries fantastic places.
MIT helped transition staff to new roles, which include: user needs assessments, usability testing, gathering and interpreting statistics, virtual sites design and production (web and mobile), embedding content outside of their own systems (in Flickr, Google Scholar, course management systems, etc.), public space design and programming, marketing and communication. A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education talks about their project to create a final resting place for failed tools, called the Beta Graveyard.
The times that we are living in call for creative ways to do things that we might not have done otherwise. We need to look at new needs and new ways to become the libraries of the future. And new ways that teams can carry out our user’s dreams.
Posted in Libraries, ux | 2 Comments »