People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Monthly Archives: August 2014

Second METRO User Experience SIG Meeting

metropolitan new york library council logoJoin us for the second METRO User Experience Special Interest Group meeting on Wednesday, September 17th at 10am-12pm. For more info and to register.

Darien Library Revisited

darien_logoIn 2010, we took a sojourn to visit Darien Library and blogged about it. Several weeks ago I decided to drop in and see what they were up to.

A short list of some cool happenings:

  • a maker space in the children’s section
  • 3, 3-D printers of various sizes for public use (when I asked what people are actually making one librarian told me he created a part for his motorcycle)
  • a heavily used Bloomberg terminal
  • a giant touch screen that is a building map
  • plans for tech fair/petting zoo this fall
  • a sign at each desk with the name of the staff member there

On this vIMG_20140805_121516isit I had the opportunity to sit with John Blyberg (Assistant Director – Innovation and UX)  and his team to talk shop. Being one of  the only devoted UX departments I’ve seen in a library, I was curious about how they fit into the library and their roles.

A list of some of our talking points:
  • they see themselves as department of consultants, administration/staff consult with them on initiatives
  • they don’t want to force population into space, want to ask community how library can be extension of what they need
  • they take a passive approach & don’t push UX, wait to see what people want
  • it took 2-3 years to guide internal culture of library around social media & technology

If you’d like to know more about Darien’s UX department & what they’re up to read their annual report available at

ROI of User Experience

ROIRecently, a post was published by Megan Wilson on the return on investments (ROI) of user experience on the Paul Olyslager site. As UX gains ground, how do you convince management that it is a worthy investment? Megan gives a nice list of the ways investing in UX provides ROI. Her 4 main reasons are: UX reduces long-term cost, increases sales, increases productivity and creates long-term user loyalty. Read the entire article “ROI of user experience”.


Monthly Method Spotlight: Parallel Design

building-modelParallel Design

When/why:  A design methodology that involves several designers pursuing the same effort simultaneously, but independently, with the intention to combine the best aspects of each for the ultimate solution.

How: A type of prototyping that can be done by users. Ask users to come up with creative solutions to the issue being addressed. Provide them with basic materials such as pen, pencils, paper, crayons, etc.

Tips: Remember to have users design in separate areas so that they are not influencing each other.

Interested in using/applying these methods in your work? Contact us for more info.