User experience (UX) is a topic that has been important in the field of technology as designers are thinking more about users' habits and needs when developing products and services. What UX strives to accomplish is to create products and services that are intuitive and easy to use, which will be more appealing to a greater user base (and hence, more revenue for the company). It's time that library professionals think about UX in our contexts too. Since the advent of the Internet, user's information-seeking behaviours have changed. However, the library model has not. This leads to a great gap between user's expectations and how the library functions. At SCAD, we started to develop a UX toolkit that will allow library professionals to reinvigorate our connections with users.
Recently, all the head librarians in each SCAD location were given a UX Toolkit. It is a project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the toolkit was developed by SCAD students studying Service Design with support from their professors and the Senior Library Director Darrell Naylor-Johnson. Over this summer, all the head librarians were tasked to "play" with this toolkit with our teams. We are the guinea pigs who get to use this toolkit to see how well it works, and to identify kinks that need to be sorted out. The end goal is that we eventually develop a toolkit that all libraries can easily implement to improve their user's experience.
The toolkit has four booklets, and a booklet of posters. My team and I went through the first poster on July 5th. This is the "project framing" poster where we have to identify a vision and work together to identify the supporting visions, the resources we already have, what the challenges we may face, and the things we need to do to get us there. We decided that we want to develop a special collections for SCAD Hong Kong that supports students' learning, preserves Hong Kong culture, and also promotes SCAD.
When the special collection first started at SCAD Hong Kong, I was the person mainly in charge of developing this collection. This toolkit gave me an opportunity to get input from my team. We only spent about an hour on the poster, because we weren't really sure if we were on the right track. However, we all had a lot of fun talking about it. If anything, this was a great team building exercise. We will work on the poster again this Friday, and maybe move on to a different poster for the next phase of the project.
This toolkit is a work in progress. Please stay tuned as I will be writing more on our experience with the toolkit. If you have any questions about this toolkit, please send them my way: kchang(at)scad.edu
Text by: Kayo