Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library

Article excerpt

Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library. By Aaron Schmidt and Amanda Etches. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2014. 176 p. Paper $65 (ISBN 978-0-8389-1226-3).

It's all about the user. This point is made clear in Aaron Schmidt and Amanda Etches's new book, Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library. The conversational tone of this book adds to the growing body of publications on the user experience. It serves as a step-by-step guide to developing a welcoming library based on a number of library "touchpoints," or key components, that affect the user experience, such as the library website, signage, furniture, restrooms, policies, and collections. Although many of the recommendations (such as ensuring that furniture is intact and keeping restrooms clean) are common sense for any public service manager, the book stresses the importance of the local environment and the need to focus on the members of the local library community.

The title of the book refers to what the authors call the "trinity" of good user experience. The book is organized in a clear and easy-to-use format, allowing the reader to move from section to section as needed. Chapters are devoted to physical space, service points, policies and customer service, signage and wayfinding, and online presence. …

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