For immediate release | July 7, 2014

Applying user experience (UX) design to your library

CHICAGO — Every decision you make affects how people experience your library. “Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library,” published by ALA TechSource, points the way toward ensuring that your library is a welcoming space for everyone. In this useful primer, user experience (UX) librarians Aaron Schmidt and Amanda Etches identify 19 crucial touchpoints, such as the library website, email, furniture, parking lot, events and newsletters. They explain why each is important to your library’s members and offer guidance on how to make improvements. From library administrators to public relations and marketing staff, anyone concerned with how members experience your library will benefit from this book’s:

  • coverage of the eight principles of library UX design, explaining how they can guide you to better serve your library's members;
  • advice on simple, structured ways to evaluate and improve aspects such as physical space, service points, policies and customer service, signage and wayfinding, online presence and using the library;
  • scorecard system for self evaluation, which includes methods for determining how much time, effort and skill will be involved in getting optimum performance.

Schmidt has worked as a circulation clerk, young adult librarian, reference librarian and library director. Currently he is principal of Influx Library User Experience, a design firm dedicated to integrating UX design into libraries. He writes a column in Library Journal called “The User Experience,” lectures at San José State University’s School of Library and Information Science and serves on the editorial board for Weave: Journal of Library User Experience. He blogs about library design at Walking Paper.

Etches is head of discovery and access at the University of Guelph Library, where she spends her time guiding teams and projects that are all about making the library experience better for users, both in person and online. She is also part of Influx, a user experience consultancy that works with libraries. She frequently writes and presents on web design, usability and user experience practices and trends. She tweets @etches and blogs at etc.

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Related Links

"Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library"

"User Experience (UX) Design for Libraries (THE TECH SET® #18)"

"Making Libraries Accessible: Adaptive Design and Assistive Technology"


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

American Library Association

ALA Publishing