People Interact

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

Tag Archives: people-centered

From UX Study to UX Service: Using People-Centered Research Methods to Improve the Public Library Experience

You may have noticed that we have not been posting regularly…we have spent the past year working on an article and have finally completed it. Here it is, hot off the press!

From UX Study to UX Service: Using People-Centered Research Methods to Improve the Public Library Experience


Monthly Method Spotlight: We Want To Know

feedbackA few years ago, we started a new series Monthly Method Spotlight where each month we focused on one people-centered method that you may find helpful for your work. We use these methods for various projects to develop, implement, and/or evaluate.

As per our usual What, When/Why and How in our Monthly Method Spotlight series, we want to know –

  • What methods have you used in your work?
  • When/why did you use those methods?
  • How did you use those methods?
  • How did it go? Would you use those methods again?


Is Your Library People-Focused?

Are you seeking to make improvements and changes to your library on a small budget? Is your library looking to renovate, relocate, rebrand, or introduce a new service/program?

“DIY Usability and User Experience: Is Your Library People Focused?”

In this DIY-style workshop, you will learn to how use people-centered design methods at your library to help you plan, coordinate, assess and evaluate your services and processes to ensure that they are cost- and time-efficient. While you may not have the staff, time, or funding to do a full-fledged library usability and user experience study; together, participants will experience how to use these methods to make small changes for a big impact. Filled with examples, case studies, and activities, participants will leave this workshop with the framework and tools for completing their own DIY usability study.

When: Thursday, April 26th from 10am-1pm
Where: METRO in NYC
How much: $35 non-member/$25 METRO member employee/$20 myMETRO member 


We presented a similar workshop as a 75-minute talk table program “DIY Usability Study: Is your Library People Focused” at the Public Library Association 2010 National Conference and here’s what one participant had to say:

“Library Journal Movers and Shakers Sandra Sajonas and Lisa Chow teamed up to run an excellent talk table on methods you can use to study your library and make sure you are focusing on users in ways that work for them.”

NYPL is Reimagining the Library for the Future, But Are They Evaluating the Library of the Present?

NYPL LogoNew York Public Library (NYPL) is reimagining the library for the future by sharing their plan and getting feedback from patrons. It’s a good start, but we wonder if they are also studying how patrons are currently using the library.

On their website, NYPL stated that “We’ve gathered information on what we do well, what we need to improve, and, looking ahead, on patrons’ priorities for both our neighborhood libraries and our landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.” How did NYPL gather this information?

Surveys and interviews are two commonly used methods. There are other relevant methods such as fly on the wall observation and error analysis, and when combined with surveys and interviews, you can learn so much more — not just the need or desire for more computers and quiet areas, but also ideas as to where to put the computers and quiet areas.

This also makes us wonder: If and how are other libraries gathering information and evaluating their library services and programs?

Take the Green Elevator…A Recap of World Usability Day 2011 in NYC

“Hi, I’m here for the 6pm World Usability Day event.” After getting my photo badge, I was told “Take the green elevator to the 6th floor.” Not really understanding what she meant, I headed towards the elevators.

Turns out there is a light above each elevator. Saw a red light, then a green light (the doors closed before I could get on). Got on another green elevator. I was guessing that green meant the elevator goes up and the red meant the elevator goes down. It wasn’t until I was leaving that it hit me, the colors represent the stock price changes (green = up, red = down).

NYC UPA World Usability Day 2011

Interesting and inspiring talks on education, design, social change and usability by Mark Randall, Asi Burak, Michelle Mullineaux, Whitney Quesenbery, Katrin Verclas, Irina Lee and Tyler Mintz. Here’s a recap of the NYC UPA World Usability Day 2011 event:

  • “Create, Don’t Hate.” New York – “Create! Don’t Hate. is a Design Ignites Change youth mentoring initiative that guides you through the process of designing of a billboard around the theme of tolerance. “
  • Impact: Design for Social Change, School of Visual Arts – Six-week intensive program with two tracks: 1) social entrepreneurship and educate students on how to conceive, execute and fund their own projects for social change; 2) participate in the development and execution of a team project that addresses a pressing need for a New York City-based non-profit organization.
  • Once you design something, how do you know if the design works? The idea of embedded design. – Mark Randall
  • First Person American – “First Person American focuses on stories of modern immigrants in the US, and explore what it means to be American through the lens of the immigrant in an expressive, personal and narrative style.
  • Games for Change – Development of social impact games like Half the Sky, 9 Minutes and Worm Attack.
  • DesigNYC – “We connect civic-minded designers with extraordinary nonprofits serving the public good.
  • There are a lot of think tanks, what about do tanks. Just start doing. – Michelle Mullineaux
  • People do quality checks, but not usability checks. – Whitney Quesenbery

Well said and so true! Reminds me of our usability study of a library’s new service model – yes, the self check out machines work (quality check) but are they usable and how does the implementation of these machines affect the overall service model of the library and the library user experience (usability check)?

Did you attend or participate in World Usability Day? Please share your experiences & stories in the comments below.