UX and Library

Saw this tweet recently. Inspired to know how UX / User Experience can be put into practice to help us in distributing workloads and tasks. Visualizations can help us see things better compared to listing it all in text format. Have you thought of something similar at your workplace?


Between TIND and KOHA

Just completed a short report on both TIND and KOHA for our library ILS migration project.  Our library has been using III Millennium for a number of years.  At some point, it was high time for us to evaluate and assess the performance of Millennium. During the assessment phase, we considered the need to migrate to a new ILS.  For those who are not sure of what ILS is all about, here are some info:

I looked at a number of criteria, among others:

  • User Experience (my own; this would be a good time to start a UX project on how our users search/navigate/browse print/AV items in the public interface
  • Social Media features
  • Export features: Downloading, printing, exporting to citation management software
  • Customization: whether we can customized information on the left or right columns of the result screen
  • Facets features: what are the available filter features that our user can use? Are there any limitations to this feature?
  • Personalization: Viewing of borrowed/suggested/renewed items; Renewing books online; Search history

Both KOHA and Tind have their pros and cons.  Ultimately it depends on the individual libraries.  As for us, we are a digitally-born library.  More than 90% of our resources are in electronic format.  A handful are in print/AV format.  This presented several unique challenges to the library staff.

Some useful references:

The trouble with website(s) …

Head in Hands

I had a frustrating time trying to figure out what went wrong with a certain banking website.

I tried logging on using Firefox and it showed a message that the site was temporarily unavailable.  I assumed site maintenance as the error message was pretty vague.  After several unsuccessful attempts over 2 days, I decided to contact their call center.  The guy on the other line assured me that I should be able to access after 2 minutes.

So I gave it a long hour before I tried again. Still the same problem. Called the center again and this time the lady told me to switch to Internet Explorer Browser. Well, it worked BUT the minute I clicked on the button to do an online payment, the browser logged me out of the site.  **shaking head in disbelief.

Then I decided to try Chrome: Voila! It worked.  I gonne stick to Chrome for the time being.

Moral of the Story: Please be more explicit about the Error message.  You could have informed us to switch to another browser. Talk about user experience.

User Experience: “You are NOT your user”

I’ve started on our user experience interviews on the use of our new discovery service namely Summon and AZ portal.  One of the objectives is find out our users’ behavior when they search/browse our electronic resources.  Participants include:

  • Faculty members
  • Post-docs
  • Students

Being a digitally born library, our e-resources far outnumber the print collection. Therefore it is imperative for us to know how best we can align our discovery services and other added value services to meet our users’ needs.

Some Questions posed:

  • Have you used Summon / 360? If Not, why?
  • How often do you conduct your research?
  • What obstacles do you face during your research process?
  • How can we, the library, help you to make your user experience (Summon/360) better?

And taking a leaf from this book that I am currently reading: “You are NOT your user” – Admit it.