Usability answers the question “Can the user accomplish their goal?” User experience answers the question, “Did the user have as delightful an experience as possible?” Jared Spool
The Texas Library Association Annual Conference is coming up soon in Houston, Texas. I am delighted to announce that there will be a Bootstrap UX session from 4:00-4:50, on Tuesday, April 17th. The speakers include: Debra Kolah, Monica Rivero, and Marcel LaFlamme.
A little about me: I am in the User Experience Office, and the librarian for Physics, Math, Statistics, and Astronomy at Rice University. I have 15 years of experience in libraries, including Branch Manager of a public library, an intern at a semiconductor company, and adjunct faculty at a community college library, which gives me a unique perspective of service and users in a variety of settings. I am currently leading a project at Rice to examine the ways that faculty adopt and use iPads in a classroom setting. I have an MLIS from the University of Texas, and a BA in English from Sam Houston State University. I have most recently done graduate level work in Ethnography at Rice University.
Monica Rivero is the Digital Curation Coordinator for the Center for Digital Scholarship at Rice University. She worked as the project manager for the ‘Our Americas Archive Partnership’, an IMLS funded 3yr national leadership grant to digitize rare books and manuscripts from 18th and 19th centuries. She holds an MLIS from University of North Texas Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences and a BA in Business management from Sam Houston State University. Monica has over 10 years experience in project management in the private sector.
Marcel LaFlamme is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at Rice, and a former director of a rural community college library. In 2007, he received the Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize from the Progressive Librarians Guild for an article about the use of collaborative ethnography in community needs assessment.
In general, UX examines the ways that our users experience libraries and how users interact with library staff and other departments across the organization.
I started using the term Bootstrap UX, when I wanted to describe the type of work that I was doing in my then-new position as the UX Office at Fondren Library, Rice University. Most of the anthropologists that are involved in library work right now, such as, Nancy Foster, and Andrew Asher, do year-long, grant-funded studies for their institutions. I wanted to explore doing short, intensive, 6-15 week (unfunded) ethnographic studies or usability tests, that could inform, and help drive service decisions, with Foster’s and Asher’s (ERIAL) work as a firm foundation.
The session at TLA will discuss two ethnographic projects done at Rice, as well as, one usability test cycle. We will spotlight project management, including giving you some templates of forms that you can take home. Additionally, we will provide a framework of anthropological methods. The take away is that you will be able to undertake your own study, in what ever type of library you are involved with daily. The rich experience that comes from looking at the world through an ethnographic lens will forever alter the way you view libraries, and your users.
The UX office work at Rice combines three approaches:
- 1) doing ethnographic and observational studies
- 2) conducting usability tests
- 3)creating compelling experiences
Collaborating with librarians in other departments throughout the library, we use this data to help inform the decision-making process about current and future library services.
Our usability testing informs the development and maintenance of our web and mobile interfaces.