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Ethnography and a
wider perspective on
library user experience
Andy Priestner (@andytraining)
https://www.flickr.com/photo...
How good are
librarians at
seeing the big
picture?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pikerslanefarm/2798037108
tps://www.flickr.com/photos/auduhomes/9330082354
A case of
tunnel vision?
Some can’t
see past
‘library’…
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sashavasko/4400528704
Focus too much
on library use
(and usually only
in terms of footfall,
...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/vmwelt/18763194909
Failure to focus
on students
who don’t use
our libraries
LIBRARY
IT CAREERS
And thoughts beyond library only go so far as
integration with other support departments
STUDENT
SUPPOR...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/alwaysshooting/14913046889
But where does
‘library’ actually
fit within the
wider student
ex...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/francisco_osorio/9513730462
How can we start
to uncover and
understand the
bigger picture?
If we keep within our
library field of vision it’s
a bit like a cropped
Photoshop image – what
part of the picture are
we ...
So how do we
uncover this
bigger picture?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/professorbop/2756892204
https://www.flickr.com/photos/74576085@N00/6335630844
Through
ethnography:
talking to and
listening to
students…
https://www.flickr.com/photos/guinicholas/19587297588
…and
observing and
recording their
behaviour
…and thereby
piecing
together their
whole learning
landscape…
https://www.flickr.com/photos/alanenglish/744025274
…and better
appreciating
where (and if)
library fits into
that landscape
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kthbiblioteket/4472...
Simple sticky note exercise undertaken
with students at Cambridge University:
‘Detail your entire experience of University...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelmattiphotography/10197758956/
SOCIAL
sports
sex
drugs
alcohol
/bars
friends
girl/boy
...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelmattiphotography/10197758956/
COURSE
readings
study
space
essays
practicals
library d...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelmattiphotography/10197758956/
DAY-TO-DAY
laundry health
communal
living
buying
food
g...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelmattiphotography/10197758956/
TECHNEXT
phone
signal
WIFI tabletlaptop phone
power
int...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelmattiphotography/10197758956/
readingsstudy
space
library
IT
support
data revision PC...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/124429633@N03/14360887815
A pan-Cambridge innovation
programme delivering new
products and s...
Futurelib’s most recent success story…
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bakokojp/8269964720
Spacefinder
would seek to
illumine and
uncover the
University’s many
spa...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/leonfishman/6738681839
Problem
identified…
Students were not
finding spaces that
matched the...
study preferences
• in groups
• totally alone
• ‘together alone’
(studying independently
but next to friends who
can help ...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dinoboy/6868841128
types of space
• common areas
• cafes
• pubs
• parks
(not just libraries)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bakokojp/8269964720
Spacefinder would
seek to illumine
and uncover the
University’s many
spa...
ethnographic /
design research
was continuous
during the project
• prototyping
• testing and iterating
(photo: students te...
http://spacefinder.lib.cam.ac.uk
“I wanted to write personally, to
thank you for Spacefinder, and tell
you how useful students are already
finding it. This...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelmattiphotography/10197758956/
library PCs
phone
signal
WIFI
tablet
laptop
power
coffe...
Survey results,
quantitative data, and
more importantly a focus
solely on library would
never have led us to
Spacefinder.
...
Survey results,
quantitative data, and
more importantly a focus
solely on library would
never have led us to
Spacefinder.
...
What is outside of your
‘library field of vision’?
Ethnography and a wider perspective on library user experience
Ethnography and a wider perspective on library user experience
Ethnography and a wider perspective on library user experience
Ethnography and a wider perspective on library user experience
Ethnography and a wider perspective on library user experience
Ethnography and a wider perspective on library user experience
Ethnography and a wider perspective on library user experience
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Ethnography and a wider perspective on library user experience

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A 10 minute presentation given at the UKSG Forum on Wednesday 18th December 2015

Published in: Education

Ethnography and a wider perspective on library user experience

  1. 1. Ethnography and a wider perspective on library user experience Andy Priestner (@andytraining) https://www.flickr.com/photos/francisco_osorio/15846068506
  2. 2. How good are librarians at seeing the big picture? https://www.flickr.com/photos/pikerslanefarm/2798037108
  3. 3. tps://www.flickr.com/photos/auduhomes/9330082354 A case of tunnel vision? Some can’t see past ‘library’…
  4. 4. https://www.flickr.com/photos/sashavasko/4400528704 Focus too much on library use (and usually only in terms of footfall, loan stats and survey data)
  5. 5. https://www.flickr.com/photos/vmwelt/18763194909 Failure to focus on students who don’t use our libraries
  6. 6. LIBRARY IT CAREERS And thoughts beyond library only go so far as integration with other support departments STUDENT SUPPORT COURSE ADMIN
  7. 7. https://www.flickr.com/photos/alwaysshooting/14913046889 But where does ‘library’ actually fit within the wider student experience of University?
  8. 8. https://www.flickr.com/photos/francisco_osorio/9513730462 How can we start to uncover and understand the bigger picture?
  9. 9. If we keep within our library field of vision it’s a bit like a cropped Photoshop image – what part of the picture are we missing? We’re not missing much in this cropped kitten picture, but what about on these classic album covers..?
  10. 10. So how do we uncover this bigger picture? https://www.flickr.com/photos/professorbop/2756892204
  11. 11. https://www.flickr.com/photos/74576085@N00/6335630844 Through ethnography: talking to and listening to students…
  12. 12. https://www.flickr.com/photos/guinicholas/19587297588 …and observing and recording their behaviour
  13. 13. …and thereby piecing together their whole learning landscape… https://www.flickr.com/photos/alanenglish/744025274
  14. 14. …and better appreciating where (and if) library fits into that landscape https://www.flickr.com/photos/kthbiblioteket/4472643699
  15. 15. Simple sticky note exercise undertaken with students at Cambridge University: ‘Detail your entire experience of University life – warts and all – with one element per sticky note. Use as many notes as you need.’
  16. 16. https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelmattiphotography/10197758956/ SOCIAL sports sex drugs alcohol /bars friends girl/boy -friend shopping clubs & societies coffee & cafes summer ball music eating out travel student union theatre town cinema house parties
  17. 17. https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelmattiphotography/10197758956/ COURSE readings study space essays practicals library deadlines IT support exams data tutorials course staff lectures project work revision time- table PCs printing
  18. 18. https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelmattiphotography/10197758956/ DAY-TO-DAY laundry health communal living buying food getting from A to B stress cooking meals cycling managing money your room packing & unpacking home -sick calling home counsell -ing disabled access
  19. 19. https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelmattiphotography/10197758956/ TECHNEXT phone signal WIFI tabletlaptop phone power interviews CV job search pursue academic career pursue course elsewhere
  20. 20. https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelmattiphotography/10197758956/ readingsstudy space library IT support data revision PCs printing WIFI power
  21. 21. https://www.flickr.com/photos/124429633@N03/14360887815 A pan-Cambridge innovation programme delivering new products and services derived from ethnography and human-centred design
  22. 22. Futurelib’s most recent success story…
  23. 23. https://www.flickr.com/photos/bakokojp/8269964720 Spacefinder would seek to illumine and uncover the University’s many spaces and match them to study needs and preferences Derived from ethnographic research • diary studies • collaborative design workshops (pictured) • interviews (unstructured, structured, guerilla)
  24. 24. https://www.flickr.com/photos/leonfishman/6738681839 Problem identified… Students were not finding spaces that matched their study preferences and these needs were hugely diverse…
  25. 25. study preferences • in groups • totally alone • ‘together alone’ (studying independently but next to friends who can help them) • alone but in crowded quiet reading rooms (to make them work) • alone but in a noisier location (some can’t work in silence) https://www.flickr.com/photos/johncohen/152850884
  26. 26. https://www.flickr.com/photos/dinoboy/6868841128 types of space • common areas • cafes • pubs • parks (not just libraries)
  27. 27. https://www.flickr.com/photos/bakokojp/8269964720 Spacefinder would seek to illumine and uncover the University’s many spaces and match them to study needs and preferences
  28. 28. ethnographic / design research was continuous during the project • prototyping • testing and iterating (photo: students testing a prototype phone version of Spacefinder)
  29. 29. http://spacefinder.lib.cam.ac.uk
  30. 30. “I wanted to write personally, to thank you for Spacefinder, and tell you how useful students are already finding it. This is an achievement which shouldn't be underestimated. I thought you might be amused to know that the general response has been one of sheer astonishment that the University have helped produce something so up-to-date and relevant to student life!” Poppy Logan Cambridge University Students Union – Welfare and Rights Officer
  31. 31. https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelmattiphotography/10197758956/ library PCs phone signal WIFI tablet laptop power coffee & cafes friends stress music eating out phone signal cycling printing disabled access Spacefinder is successful because it fulfils many needs beyond library and recognises a broader student experience and learning landscape… study space revisionphone getting from A to B powerdisabled access powerdisabled access phone signal stress
  32. 32. Survey results, quantitative data, and more importantly a focus solely on library would never have led us to Spacefinder. https://www.flickr.com/photos/francisco_osorio/8424407891
  33. 33. Survey results, quantitative data, and more importantly a focus solely on library would never have led us to Spacefinder. We had to become interested in a wider picture of experience and piece that together through ethnographic research and human- centred design. https://www.flickr.com/photos/francisco_osorio/8424407891
  34. 34. What is outside of your ‘library field of vision’?

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