People Interact

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

Monthly Archives: April 2015

May 6th METRO UX SIG Meeting: Darien Library Tour

Darien LibraryJoin us for our next METRO User Experience (UX) Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting on Wednesday, May 6th where we’ll be getting a tour of Darien Library and its UX department.

Everyday Usability: Card Swipers

Ever since reading Don Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things (there’s an updated edition, by the way), I’ve been particularly more observant of design and usability around me. A few years ago, we started the Everyday Usability series. In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed the design and usability of card swipers. Card swipers = where you swipe your credit or debit card to pay for a purchase, or a library card or copy card to pay for a photocopy, or bank/debit card to enter a bank after hours. Sometimes you have to swipe the card upside down, sometimes right side up. Why can’t we have a universal card swiper where it doesn’t matter how we swipe the card?

Wandering Librarian: Westport Library

The first library in our new series is in the quaint town of Westport, CT. I decided to pop in and see why the Westport Library is a finalist for the 2015 IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest honor given to museums and libraries.

Upon walking into the main area, I was flummoxed; they have an incredible MakerSpace. All I have to say is “they have robots!” westportrobotsBesides the robots, their MakerSpace is equipped with 3 3D printers and a Design-Thinking Center. Although after conversations with staff & patrons, the Design-Thinking Center seemed to be one of those timely grant initiatives that follow recent trends (all the buzz words were there; ideate, design-thinking, etc) but fail to capture the true purpose and objective of the trend.

Besides this detail, Westport has all the basics of a great library & them some. Overall, Westport is a user-centered library that pays attention to their patrons’ wants and needs.

Here’s a shortlist of some features that contribute to a great user experience:


  • digital lending library of ebooks, videos, films, music & audiobook
  • tech petting zoo
  • old fashion typewriter (yes, some people still want to use these)
  • phone/tablet charging station
  • public coat hooks (a small but thoughtful detail)
  • gift shop & cafe
  • self-checkout kioks
  • book a librarian services
  • print, scan & fax service that accept old fashion cash
  • wireless printing


Monthly Method Spotlight: Triading

triadingWhen/why: An interviewing technique that reveals deep-seated attitudes, perceptions and feelings towards brands, products and services.

How: Present 3 different concepts or ideas and ask participant to identify how 2 of them are different from the 3rd and why.

Tips: Triading can be repeated numerous times and with different people. Over time a wealth of data and even patterns will emerge.

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