Everyone wants library services and spaces to be relevant and easy to use. The User Experience (UX) group brings our knowledge of design, usability and user research to provide a fresh and holistic perspective to improving the user experience.
We do this by studying the needs of the various MIT communities through ethnographic/observational studies, in-depth interviews, surveys, usability tests, and more. Collaborating with other library units, we use this data to help inform the decision-making process about current and future library services.
The User Interface Group within UX leads the development and maintenance of our web and mobile interfaces.
Our betas program allows for experimentation with new technologies in order to get feedback from the MIT community about the usefulness of potential new services.
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PFAD: Patron for a Day (PDF)
- This test was designed as an opportunity for staff to learn what it is like to be a user by performing a series of tasks patrons regularly perform in our physical spaces. Outcome: some good ideas for improvements that were easy to make!
Space Study (wiki)
- A study of how library spaces are used in real time, in order to inform the discussion about extending library hours and to gather baseline space usage data. The study consisted of three parts: observations, a Task Inventory Survey, and three open-ended flip-chart questions. In addition, other existing data, such as gate counts and circulation trends, was gathered to further inform the hours decision process.
Digital Scholarship at MIT (wiki)
- Volunteers from the MIT community (undergrads, grads, & TAs) were asked to record their own research behavior over the course of a one-week period using their own digital camera and taking notes in any format they wished. The photos and notes were used to help each person tell their story in detail during in-depth interviews with members of the libraries user experience group. The goal of the study was to investigate how new technologies and formats are having an impact on how MIT scholars find, use, and share information for their study, research, and publishing.