I attented a very interesting audio conference on Wednesday. The discussion was on The Future of the Library User Experience. Here are a couple key points I came away with:
- People before systems
- Logical is not intuitive
- It takes 10 years in the lab before technology is moved into general use and then it takes 10 years in general use to be fully adopted. The example given was electronic ink. It has been in the lab for 10 years and just now moving into general use by being integrated into physical devices.
- Never ask people what they think instead watch how they use it – focus on behavior not opinions.
- All books will be in digital format in 30 years – how will this affect people’s use of them?
- Databases by Topic is internal organizational language not users language – try something like Find Information – what else could we use?
- LibraryThing is a great value. It helps users find things in the catalog they normally would not find.
- Use museum type programming – programming where there is always something happening. Charlotte, NC library is doing short children’s programs (20 minutes) every hour. One program which repeats for the day. Patrons don’t have to juggle their schedule around the program offerings. When they come to the library they are sure of a program occurring shortly.