People Interact

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

Monthly Archives: February 2017

Wandering Librarian: Danbury Public Library

Wandering into inland CT, I stopped at Danbury’s public library. While my visit was short, I did notice a couple of things while wandering around:

  • book display with staff members’ favorite picks – inclusion of staff members name added a nice personal touch
  • too much paper taped on walls, doors, etc throughout the library
  • poster guide of Dewey Decimal System in stacks to assist patrons in their search
  • bagged children’s books around a theme available for loan
  • reference desk is easily found by big “Ask Me” sign above it – more inviting than the classic “Reference” signs
  • children’s and young adult section on the 2nd floor not separated by a physical barrier – allows for easy movement throughout space by all the kids without creating them feeling like they are trespassing in the wrong section  – also noted is the charging stand in the teen section (they really know their teen patrons well)

Mainly during my visit I took note of the library’s technological offerings to its community.

  • Preloaded Amazon Kindle Fire tablets
  • Roku streaming media player available for 7 day loan
  • Early literacy iPad Kits available for 7 day loan
  • iPads in Spanish available
  • Digital Design Center with IMAC loaded with design programs
  • Digital petting zoo
  • Faxing & scanning services

One final feature of the library that I stumbled on while browsing their website is the Danbury Hackerspace @ The Innovation Center. Unfortunately, because it was not well marked I was unable to visit in person. The attached Hackerspace also offers coworking  space for $50/month.

All in all, this little library packs in quite a bit for its community.

Wandering Librarian: Fairfield Public Library

Continuing my wandering around Fairfield County,CT, I stopped at Fairfield Public Library. My first impression was that it is a well used library judging by the number of people inside at 10am on a Monday. My second impression was that my wandering would be guided by well placed and informative signage.

Several things I noticed as I wandered around:

  • Preloaded learning tablets available to check out
  • No self-check out system
  • Charging stations
  • Art gallery displaying local artist
  • Low vision services area
  • Inviting and well stocked periodical room
  • Video game lending
  • Interesting book sections:
    • celebrity memoir, celebrity chef, 7 day loan, 14 day loan

In general I found the library to be comfortable and neat; no flyers taped to walls, not stacks of papers/books strewn throughout, no abandoned book carts.

In regards to programs and events, the library offers the requisite storytimes, tech/computer programs, job/career programs, craft programs, cultural programs teen programs and book clubs. I did notice some very timely program based on today’s hot topics such as the upcoming Oscars, media literacy, tax prep assistance, and popular health topics.

Overall a wonderful library bringing together its community and nothing demonstrates that more than their One Book One Town celebration that connects Fairfielders by uniting them for the month of March with 2 books and events & activities around these titles.


Monthly Method Spotlight: 80/20 Rule

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What: The  80/20 Rule or Pareto principle is named after economist Vilfredo Pareto and specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that 20% of the invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained.

When/why: The 80/20 rule can used in helping you make decisions in your user experience work. Wherever there is data that can be quantified there’s the possibility that you can use this rule to focus your efforts on the areas of your work that bring the most results.

How: For example, 80/20 can be applied to website usability. Analyze data to determine your website’s 20% most-used functions and concentrate on enhancing these functions. Don’t spend too much time optimizing stuff that falls in the 80% that’s not often used

Tips: When using the 80/20 rule in UX research to be mindful of sample or data size. You need to ensure that your research or analysis covers a sufficient sample size to be statistically relevant. 80/20 is a quick & dirty method and is by no means exacting in its results.

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