TECH SET interview: Aaron Schmidt and Amanda Etches

By Patrick Hogan |

Aaron Schmidt and Amanda Etches, authors of User Experience (UX) Design for Libraries speak frequently on UX design. If you've heard them, you know they are passionate and emphatic about putting the user first. In the interview, they each describe their favorite project from the book.

For Amanda, it's developing personas. "Peronas are one of those things where people have a vague sense of what they are and why they matter, but they don't really know how they can use them or how they can go about developing them for the library," she says. Personas are useful not only in the web development process, but also for other library service planning. In detailed, step-by-step fashion, the book explains how to develop personas, what to include, how to format your documents, what you can use them for, and, most importantly, how to know if they're working for you.

Aaron is excited about the book's guidance on how to write for the web. "It's such a low-tech or no-tech way to make your website better," he says. The book has a checklist with examples of what to do and what to avoid in writing for the Web. In closing, Aaron notes that he'll be interested to hear if the book will switch people's mindset from a library- or librarian-centered way of thinking to one that is user-centered.

Listen to the full interview.

Read a sample chapter on Scribd.

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