@ned_potter
ETHNOGRAPHY + POSSIBILITIES
FOR LIBRARIES, ARCHIVES AND MUSEUMS
UX
University of York
TERMINOLOGY
Ethnographic Museum
Ethnographic Archive
Ethnographic Library
TERMINOLOGY
Ethnographic Museum
Ethnographic Archive
Ethnographic Library
This is about using ethnography to observe
users of librarie...
INTRODUCTION: A UX PRIMER
UX has
become an
IP
UMBRELLA
term to
cover a
suite of
techniques
that can be
divided
roughly into
two parts:
ethnography
a...
SIMPLY PUT
Ethnographic techniques and observation lead to a
deeper and more complex understanding of user
needs and behav...
Simply put,
HUMAN CENTRED
D
E
S
I
G
N
prioritises the end user, their
needs, and their behaviour, at
every stage of the de...
In recent years the User
Experience in Libraries
movement (UX) has
spread from the US
and Scandinavia
to the UK
UX
is
not
Libraries are
using UX to
make an
IMPACT on
their users’ day
to day lives
What does all of
this have to do
with…
What does all of
this have to do
with…
PART ONE: ETHNOGRAPHY
7 KEY ETHNOGRAPHIC TECHNIQUES
Observation / Behavioural Mapping
Unstructured and Semi-Structured
Interviews
Cognitive Mapp...
1. Observation / Behavioural Mapping
Note your users as
they move through and
interact with the space.
1. Observation / Behavioural Mapping
Note your users as
they move through and
interact with the space.
What are
their path...
1. Observation / Behavioural Mapping
2. Unstructured / Semi-Structured Interviews
Interview your subject about
their working / scholarly /
cultural LIFE, not j...
2. Unstructured / Semi-Structured Interviews
For example ask not
‘what e-resources do
you use?’ but ‘what’s
your process w...
2. Unstructured / Semi-Structured Interviews
For example ask not
‘what is your favourite
part of the museum?’
but ‘how do ...
3. Cognitive Maps
A brilliant jumping off point for the
interview is the Cognitive Map. Ask
your subject to draw a map fro...
3. Cognitive Maps
The Cognitive Map can be of a
building or space – but it can also
be of a process, like researching
thei...
3. Cognitive Maps
Note what they put down first,
what’s a last minute addition, what
they leave out entirely. You can
code...
3. Cognitive Maps
3. Cognitive Maps
3. Cognitive Maps
4. Touchstone Tours
Rather than showing your users around, let them
take YOU on a tour of the building (and record
what th...
5. Love Letters / Break-up Letters
Ask
your users
to write a letter
to a collection or
service (NOT a member
of staff!) – ...
5. Love Letters / Break-up Letters
5. Love Letters / Break-up Letters
5. Love Letters / Break-up Letters
5. Love Letters / Break-up Letters
6. Cultural Probes
Give your users the
tools they need to take
ethnography home with
them – diary studies, a
voice recorde...
7. Graffiti Walls
Give your users a
feedback mechanism
which is quick, easy
and interactive
7. Graffiti Walls
7. Graffiti Walls
These methods for
feedback gathering
tend to reveal very in-
depth and varied
views, feelings and
experiences
The key is not to get stuck on
the ethnography phase – the next step
is to design changes to your service
based on what yo...
PART TWO: DESIGN
The aim is to tweak the
service to make the user
experience better. This
may mean a small number
of large changes – you
ne...
The Design Thinking process first defines the
problem and then implements the solutions,
always with the needs of the user...
(In other words: it’s iterative.
Rather than saving up your
design tweaks for one huge
change, go for a rapid-
prototyping...
Make changes
early and often,
monitor your users’
responses, and
don’t be afraid
to fail.
Just make sure
you record and
le...
Perhaps it’s better to make something self-
righting than to aim for perfection. Can your
users find their own way out of ...
Use design techniques to help structure your thinking
Examples courtesy of
Modern Human
PART THREE: UX-LED CHANGES
Here are some examples of changes: tweaks to our
services at the University of York, informed or
supported by our three ma...
We installed hot-drinking-water taps,
for those who prefer to drink hot
water during the winter months
We changed the opening hours of
one of our sites to 24hrs, because
students told us they were reluctant
to use it if it me...
We added white-boards to the Postgrad areas to
try and help foster a sense of community. PGs
don’t always want to collabor...
We bought blankets for all our sites.
It may not seem like much, but…
We bought blankets for all our sites.
It may not seem like much, but…
We changed the way our Flexible Loans system
works for the academic community, and data from
ethnographic fieldwork also f...
We changed the way we
communicate with our users
Examples of changes at other institutions include changing the
location of digital screens, to areas where they’ll be actu...
… so this screenshot from Andy Priestner shows several behavioural
maps combined by Georgina Cronin to show the ‘desire li...
Ethnographic fieldwork can identify why supposedly quiet areas
were still thought of as noisy by users – solutions at othe...
Another HEI put in more printers, more signage (both
physical and digital) and a phone charging station. Again,
none of th...
THIS THIS THIS
THIS
= a better user experience,
happier users
Often UX fieldwork can be
the evidence and trigger
required to make the
changes you’ve known you
want to do for a while…
FINALLY: NEXT STEPS
If you’d like to try this at your library, museum or archive
(or any other organisation) here’s a potential path forward:
1. Choose either a space or a demographic
1. Choose either a space or a demographic
2. Choose some ethnographic fieldwork to try
out. Behavioural Mapping is a good ...
1. Choose either a space or a demographic
2. Choose some ethnographic fieldwork to try
out. Behavioural Mapping is a good ...
1. Choose either a space or a demographic
2. Choose some ethnographic fieldwork to try
out. Behavioural Mapping is a good ...
1. Choose either a space or a demographic
2. Choose some ethnographic fieldwork to try
out. Behavioural Mapping is a good ...
SOME CREDITS
All photos are CC0 (sourced via
Pixabay & Pexels) except the
Touchstone Tour pic, courtesy of
Georgina Cronin...
Read more about UX at the
University of York Library
libinnovation.blogspot.co.uk
a structured introduction to UX:
ned-pot...
UX, ethnography and possibilities: for Libraries, Museums and Archives
UX, ethnography and possibilities: for Libraries, Museums and Archives
UX, ethnography and possibilities: for Libraries, Museums and Archives
UX, ethnography and possibilities: for Libraries, Museums and Archives
UX, ethnography and possibilities: for Libraries, Museums and Archives
UX, ethnography and possibilities: for Libraries, Museums and Archives
UX, ethnography and possibilities: for Libraries, Museums and Archives
UX, ethnography and possibilities: for Libraries, Museums and Archives
UX, ethnography and possibilities: for Libraries, Museums and Archives
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UX, ethnography and possibilities: for Libraries, Museums and Archives

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These slides are adapted from a talk I gave at the Welsh Government's Marketing Awards for the LAM sector, in 2017.

It offers a primer on UX - User Experience - and how ethnography and design might be used in the library, archive and museum worlds to better understand our users. All good marketing starts with audience insight.

The presentation covers the following:
1) An introduction to UX
2) Ethnography, with definitions and examples of 7 ethnographic techniques
3) User-centred design and Design Thinking
4) Examples of UX-led changes made at institutions in the UK and Scandinavia
5) Next Steps - if you'd like to try out UX at your own organisation

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UX, ethnography and possibilities: for Libraries, Museums and Archives

  1. @ned_potter ETHNOGRAPHY + POSSIBILITIES FOR LIBRARIES, ARCHIVES AND MUSEUMS UX University of York
  2. TERMINOLOGY
  3. Ethnographic Museum Ethnographic Archive Ethnographic Library TERMINOLOGY
  4. Ethnographic Museum Ethnographic Archive Ethnographic Library This is about using ethnography to observe users of libraries, archives and museums… TERMINOLOGY
  5. INTRODUCTION: A UX PRIMER
  6. UX has become an IP UMBRELLA term to cover a suite of techniques that can be divided roughly into two parts: ethnography and design
  7. SIMPLY PUT Ethnographic techniques and observation lead to a deeper and more complex understanding of user needs and behaviour than traditional data gather methods normally allow. (Examples follow)
  8. Simply put, HUMAN CENTRED D E S I G N prioritises the end user, their needs, and their behaviour, at every stage of the design process, with an aim to making several small changes to improve the user experience…
  9. In recent years the User Experience in Libraries movement (UX) has spread from the US and Scandinavia to the UK
  10. UX is not
  11. Libraries are using UX to make an IMPACT on their users’ day to day lives
  12. What does all of this have to do with…
  13. What does all of this have to do with…
  14. PART ONE: ETHNOGRAPHY
  15. 7 KEY ETHNOGRAPHIC TECHNIQUES Observation / Behavioural Mapping Unstructured and Semi-Structured Interviews Cognitive Mapping Touchstone Tours Love Letters / Breakup Letters Cultural Probes Graffiti Walls
  16. 1. Observation / Behavioural Mapping Note your users as they move through and interact with the space.
  17. 1. Observation / Behavioural Mapping Note your users as they move through and interact with the space. What are their paths? What do they see? What do they use? What do they ignore?
  18. 1. Observation / Behavioural Mapping
  19. 2. Unstructured / Semi-Structured Interviews Interview your subject about their working / scholarly / cultural LIFE, not just the institution. Ask open questions, based on what they’re saying rather than based on a pre-prepared list.
  20. 2. Unstructured / Semi-Structured Interviews For example ask not ‘what e-resources do you use?’ but ‘what’s your process when you’re set an assignment / job- hunting?’
  21. 2. Unstructured / Semi-Structured Interviews For example ask not ‘what is your favourite part of the museum?’ but ‘how do museum visits fit in with your other cultural activities?’
  22. 3. Cognitive Maps A brilliant jumping off point for the interview is the Cognitive Map. Ask your subject to draw a map from memory.
  23. 3. Cognitive Maps The Cognitive Map can be of a building or space – but it can also be of a process, like researching their family tree, or completing a college assignment. They have 6 minutes to do this, changing colour of pen every 2 minutes.
  24. 3. Cognitive Maps Note what they put down first, what’s a last minute addition, what they leave out entirely. You can code this later. Then to introduce the unstructured or semi-structured interview, ask them to talk you through their map. Use what they tell you to inform your questions.
  25. 3. Cognitive Maps
  26. 3. Cognitive Maps
  27. 3. Cognitive Maps
  28. 4. Touchstone Tours Rather than showing your users around, let them take YOU on a tour of the building (and record what they say). Does their understanding of processes, systems and the space match your expectations?
  29. 5. Love Letters / Break-up Letters Ask your users to write a letter to a collection or service (NOT a member of staff!) – either professing their love for, or breaking up with, that service. This seems very gimmicky and won’t work with everyone, but when it does work it really allows you to understand the emotion engendered by the user experiences
  30. 5. Love Letters / Break-up Letters
  31. 5. Love Letters / Break-up Letters
  32. 5. Love Letters / Break-up Letters
  33. 5. Love Letters / Break-up Letters
  34. 6. Cultural Probes Give your users the tools they need to take ethnography home with them – diary studies, a voice recorder, the chance to take pictures… Encourage them to record feelings, events and interactions.
  35. 7. Graffiti Walls Give your users a feedback mechanism which is quick, easy and interactive
  36. 7. Graffiti Walls
  37. 7. Graffiti Walls
  38. These methods for feedback gathering tend to reveal very in- depth and varied views, feelings and experiences
  39. The key is not to get stuck on the ethnography phase – the next step is to design changes to your service based on what you’ve learned.
  40. PART TWO: DESIGN
  41. The aim is to tweak the service to make the user experience better. This may mean a small number of large changes – you never know what the data will tell you – but most often this will mean a large number of small changes that positively influence the user day to day
  42. The Design Thinking process first defines the problem and then implements the solutions, always with the needs of the user demographic at the core of concept development. This process focuses on needfinding, understanding, creating, thinking, and doing. At the core of this process is a bias towards action and creation: by creating and testing something, you can continue to learn and improve upon your initial ideas. “ Stanford Design School
  43. (In other words: it’s iterative. Rather than saving up your design tweaks for one huge change, go for a rapid- prototyping model…)
  44. Make changes early and often, monitor your users’ responses, and don’t be afraid to fail. Just make sure you record and learn from failure
  45. Perhaps it’s better to make something self- righting than to aim for perfection. Can your users find their own way out of difficulties?
  46. Use design techniques to help structure your thinking Examples courtesy of Modern Human
  47. PART THREE: UX-LED CHANGES
  48. Here are some examples of changes: tweaks to our services at the University of York, informed or supported by our three major UX projects since 2015.
  49. We installed hot-drinking-water taps, for those who prefer to drink hot water during the winter months
  50. We changed the opening hours of one of our sites to 24hrs, because students told us they were reluctant to use it if it meant setting up all their stuff and then having to move at 10pm when it previously closed
  51. We added white-boards to the Postgrad areas to try and help foster a sense of community. PGs don’t always want to collaborate, but sometimes they just want to BE, together in a shared space.
  52. We bought blankets for all our sites. It may not seem like much, but…
  53. We bought blankets for all our sites. It may not seem like much, but…
  54. We changed the way our Flexible Loans system works for the academic community, and data from ethnographic fieldwork also fed into changes to the catalogue front-end, and our reading list system
  55. We changed the way we communicate with our users
  56. Examples of changes at other institutions include changing the location of digital screens, to areas where they’ll be actually engaged with by a larger number of people…
  57. … so this screenshot from Andy Priestner shows several behavioural maps combined by Georgina Cronin to show the ‘desire line’ people often use – digital screens and signage can then be repositioned where they will be most seen and easiest to read
  58. Ethnographic fieldwork can identify why supposedly quiet areas were still thought of as noisy by users – solutions at other institutions included oiling loud hinges on office doors, and turning the volume down on self-issue machines…
  59. Another HEI put in more printers, more signage (both physical and digital) and a phone charging station. Again, none of these changes are huge on their own, but…
  60. THIS THIS THIS THIS
  61. = a better user experience, happier users
  62. Often UX fieldwork can be the evidence and trigger required to make the changes you’ve known you want to do for a while…
  63. FINALLY: NEXT STEPS
  64. If you’d like to try this at your library, museum or archive (or any other organisation) here’s a potential path forward:
  65. 1. Choose either a space or a demographic
  66. 1. Choose either a space or a demographic 2. Choose some ethnographic fieldwork to try out. Behavioural Mapping is a good way to start for space. Cognitive Mapping and Interviews are good to do with a demographic. 3. Practice on colleagues first!
  67. 1. Choose either a space or a demographic 2. Choose some ethnographic fieldwork to try out. Behavioural Mapping is a good way to start for space. Cognitive Mapping and Interviews are good to do with a demographic. 3. Practice on colleagues first! 4. Try to avoid going in trying to solve a specific problem. Be led by the data.
  68. 1. Choose either a space or a demographic 2. Choose some ethnographic fieldwork to try out. Behavioural Mapping is a good way to start for space. Cognitive Mapping and Interviews are good to do with a demographic. 3. Practice on colleagues first! 4. Try to avoid going in trying to solve a specific problem. Be led by the data. 5. As soon as you find something you can change, design and implement the change right away.
  69. 1. Choose either a space or a demographic 2. Choose some ethnographic fieldwork to try out. Behavioural Mapping is a good way to start for space. Cognitive Mapping and Interviews are good to do with a demographic. 3. Practice on colleagues first! 4. Try to avoid going in trying to solve a specific problem. Be led by the data. 5. As soon as you find something you can change, design and implement the change right away. 6. Have fun!
  70. SOME CREDITS All photos are CC0 (sourced via Pixabay & Pexels) except the Touchstone Tour pic, courtesy of Georgina Cronin and the Modern Human design cards, taken by me. Thanks to Andy Priestner, Jenny Foster, Ingela Wahlgren and Carl Barrow for their examples of UX-led changes. Follow them on Twitter for more good stuff!
  71. Read more about UX at the University of York Library libinnovation.blogspot.co.uk a structured introduction to UX: ned-potter.com talk to me on twitter: @ned_potter THANKS FOR LISTENING! Find out about the UXLibs Conference: uxlib.org

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