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User Experience in Libraries

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Eva-Christina Edinger

on 20 February 2017

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Transcript of User Experience in Libraries

User Experience in Libraries
access, orientation, & navigation
I. knowledge of the existence of the library
Dr. Eva-Christina Edinger, Center for University Teaching and Learning

Presentation at The Bodleian Libraries Oxford, 28th of October 2016

Is this a library?
Is this a library?
Is this a library?
II. access to the library
Access to the library - a gated community?
“And you feel that it’s a privilege to be allowed to be there because the access is controlled not everybody can walk in and that you have a privilege place being not
just a visitor
(accentuated) […]”
(OX1, line 655ff)

[...] if you know there is this kind of
(whispering)... library with this very, this very obscure subject “
(OX6, line 63f)

“[...] they have the Voltaire-Room, [...] it is really hidden away and it is very difficult to find [...] hardly anyone knows about it [...] It’s a really beautiful room but it is kind of secret [...] I got shown it by friends”
(OX2, line 31 ff)

III. orientation and navigation within the library
structures of a labyrinth
environment behaviour settings
II. collaborative vs. individual working spaces
I. noise vs. silence
appropriating spaces
place identity
ca. 150 (86) h participant observation
9 (6) expert interviews
13 (8) user interviews
40 (9) mental maps from users
2 group discussions with users
1 focus group
extra material like pictures, floor plans, maps

Hidden and secret libraries
Pictures: Public Library Stuttgart, 2011
Pictures: Lincoln College Library, Oxford, 2010
Pictures: St. Edmund Hall College Library, Oxford, 2010
cutout mental map OX2
in brackets: Oxford only
Picture: University Library Zürich, 2011
map from the porters lodge, 2010
Picture: Radcliff Camera 2010
Public Library Stuttgart, 2011
University Library Zürich, 2015
Access to the library - a gated community?
mental map fresher 1, Constance, 2010
How can we improve orientation and navigation?

Zurich University of the Arts, http://zhdk.mapongo.de/viewer, 2016
„For me it is just confusing with all the different floors and then there is this G and S and J and others and then you can leave only from the very floor and enter only on one floor and that was extremely confusing at the beginning.“ (KN2, line 26ff)    

floor plan University Library Constance
University Library Constance (red)
Orientation material, University Library Constance, 2015
University Library Constance, 2010
Social Science Library, Oxford, 2010
a little miniature office
„and it’s just a little bit weird I think ... to be sitting for hours next to someone in total silence ... who you don’t ... know ahm because that’s not like they are over there on the other side of the room, they write ...
write next to you
(laughing) and you can see their work ... and see what books they have and see their laptop screen and vice versa ... so it just feels a little bit uncomfortably close“
(OX1, 199-2013)   

“[…] then I always had
my permanent place
that I defended if necessary and mmmm (like searching for a term) that then it is an
outstanding place

(KN5, line 25ff)

„I think the advantage ... is ... well a sense of accountability ... that because student work can be so isolating and you wake up in the morning and you think ... nobody will even notice if I don’t go to the library like nobody cares whether I go out of bed or not ... and whether I go because nobody will notice my absence ... were as if you have a friend who is expecting you to be there ... then it gives you ... some motivation [...] even when I go to the place the next time on my own ... I still feel happier there because
it feels like our space
... instead of just a place to that I go by myself"
(OX1, line 286ff).

„[...] and you feel you can put your stuff on the desk and just be parked there for a period of hours [...] so you can kind of make a
little miniature office
and feel some sense of
ownership over your space
(OX1, line 84ff)

“I hereby undertake not to remove from the Library, nor to mark, deface, or injure in any way, any volume, document or other object belonging to it or in its custody; not to bring into the Library, or kindle therein, any fire or flame, and not to smoke in the Library; and I promise to obey all rules of the Library.”
„[…] you are surrounded by really old beautiful books so you feel that sort of
being part of that tradition

(OX2, line 86ff)

„[...] it’s a piece of heritage and of university history and English history and you feel a sense of
participation in a long lineage of other scholars
so you feel a sense of ownership over not ownership exactly but participation in something really great by being there. And you feel that
it’s a privilege to be allowed to be there because the access is controlled
(OX1, line 653ff)
mental map Student 2, Constance, 2010
How can we improve orientation and navigation?
structures of a labyrinth
mastering the labyrinth
How can we improve orientation and navigation?
Which behaviour is requested?
transit areas vs. working spaces
University Library Bern, 2013
University Library Constance, 2010
University Library Constance, 2010
Central Library Manchester, 2016
Central Library Manchester, 2016
playing music in a music library
different learning methods need different material settings
contradictory environment behaviour settings
coping strategies
Social Science Library, Oxford, 2010
Lincoln College Library, Oxford, 2010
contradictory environment behaviour settings
creating a personal working space
make it feel like your place
make it feel like your place
gates make communities
University Library, Constance, 2010
vonRoll Library, University of Bern, 2016
University Library Bern, vonRoll Library, 2016
Keble College Library, Oxford, 2010
Readers Declaration, Bodleian Library Oxford
coherence and continuity in self-conceptions
„Like I grew up reading the Narnia books. Will C. S. Lewis read books
under the same shelves in that same library where I read
so the same physical things are there.“
(OX1, line 733ff)
"all these things that have been there for ages and ages [...] like by using the library you are agreeing to things which they have posted.“
(OX1, line 632ff)
patina and tradition
a special place is not a place for all...
take home messages
library research - from a sociologist's view
know your users!
observe them!
create personas and use cases
understand their everyday life (e.g. their schedules and their needs of space)
use their language, especially for signs and guideposts

provide good tools for orientation and navigation!
mobile first (responsive design...)
make libraries visible & built libraries that look like libraries
place the entrance where it can be seen and be identified as such
provide good visible shelfmarks

provide concise environment behaviour settings
transit areas vs. working areas
playing/relaxing areas vs. working areas
individual vs. group working areas
think about: furniture, visual axis & privacy, light, decoration

and never forget:
everything is interrelated and
there is no "one size fits all"
Thank you!
Pictures: Design Thinking Workshop,
ETH Zürich, 2016

Design Thinking Workshop, ETH Zürich, 2016
Full transcript