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Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Resource Guide Collection

Elements of UX: A Librarian's Guide to User Experience Design

Find out what patrons <3 and h8

If you're feeling gutsy, try this with your users. If you're not ready for that, try it with colleagues (see below for a few alternative prompts).

Prompt for patrons:

  • Think of an experience, service, or tool (computer, wireless connection, printer, etc.) you use at the library.
  • Imagine it's a person.
  • Spend ten minutes writing a love letter, or a breakup letter, to that person.
  • Optional (but fun!): Send a video where you read it out loud to us!

Librarian-anthropologist Donna Lanclos invited students at UNC Charlotte to do this for the campus library. Take a look at what they love, and what they could live without. (Hat tip to Deirdre Costello for sharing this with us!)

...or try this with staff

If you want to try this with co-workers before taking it out in the field, here's some alternative things to write a love or breakup letter to:

  • Workshop, lecture, exhibit, etc. at a conference
  • Grocery or clothing store (physical or online)
  • Your internet or phone provider
  • Your library's website
  • Going to a doctor's appointment
  • Public transportation, booking a flight or hotel, or another travel experience

What can be learned from this?

  • How do others perceive the experience, service, or tool they wrote about? How does that differ from your own (or the library's) perspective?
  • What do people value most?
  • What frustrates them?
  • What should you try to fix or improve right away?
  • How can you use personal stories to promote services or programs that are working well?