Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hear Freakin', Hear! UXD in libraries

For those of you who haven't yet heard of this top tech trend for 2010, take a look at Library Journal's new column "The User Experience" - - about user experience design in libraries.

Author Aaron Schmidt, the digital initiatives librarian for the District of Columbia Public Library, points out that every aspect of our interaction with a library user is affected by design, including such seemingly mundane policies as having staff wear name tags. The whole article is worth a read, but I love the teaser Schmidt leaves us in preparation for his next column:

"The thing that unites Renner, Ranganathan, and all these UX elements is empathy. If I've convinced you to take your role as a library experience designer seriously, this core value should be your launching pad. What does this look like in real life? You need to listen to and observe your community in order to develop an empathetic focus on people. My next column will be about this important process and how libraries can truly use it to innovate."

Library Journal, you got it right! We need a column like this for librarians right now. We might be a decade behind in discovering the power of user experience design, but we can catch up - c'mon everyone, let's spread the word.

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