I am a User Experience Office of one. Projects can be challenging, and trying to spread the word on user experience and why it needs to be a part of most things that we do in libraries can get lonely. But, years ago, I decided that I would always have a student worker by my side. Someone that worked as a collaborative partner, and someone that would understand what user experience means to the world.
This past year I have been super lucky with my current UX Office Assistant, Mitchell Massey. He is a junior Cognitive Sciences-Human Factors & Human-Computer Interaction major.
Mitchell has been an invaluable support to the UX efforts, and it is so powerful when you actually can collaborate with a student on efforts that are for students. So, meet my secret weapon–and, I strongly recommend, if you don’t have a student worker collaborating with you, work towards it!
I asked him the question, “What does UX at Fondren mean to you?” Here is his UX awesome answer:
As a student, I have always been in awe of Rice’s unique culture that inspires student initiatives in almost every possible instance: student government, the college system, judicial courts, new student orientation, academics, interdisciplinary research, study abroad, student-run businesses, entrepreneurship, athletics, Beer Bike, theatre, etc.. The list goes on and on, and I absolutely love it.
I am very happy to work for Fondren Library this last year. We are at the center of many student events, and we play many other important roles in the Houston community. This is a place where students make grades and discoveries that inspire their future careers. This is a place where literature, music, and art, policy, and science thrive together. This is the place where almost any information in the world can be found, and that’s really cool.
User Experience is a core foundation of this living creative intellect. When you prioritize students’ work habits, tech preferences, lifestyles, and interests into a data-driven design for operating an institution, you will consistently see more productive and creative work and more fulfilled students and staff. This is especially the case at Fondren. Information Technology is constantly changing, and it is our ability to adapt to the school’s needs that sets us apart at this awesomely quirky and high-performing university.
The UX office wishes Mitchell a great summer! He has a NSF-funded REU at Iowa State at their Virtual Reality Applications center. He will be doing programming, graphics, and usability testing relevant to virtual reality. Who knows what we will do next Fall when he gets back!