Guiding principles for a shared understanding

One of the biggest things I’ve learned over the years in working on library web projects is that you can’t make assumptions that the teams, internal stakeholders, or higher-ups have a shared understanding of how the website work is done and priorities are set. Often, by the time this is figured out, a great deal of time and energy has been spent going around and around in circles. Establishing a set of shared guiding principles is a great way to …


UX and Web Systems Job Postings at the University of Michigan Library

The following 3 positions are now available in the User Experience (UX) and Library Web Systems Departments. We’re looking for candidates who take a user-centered approach, have a passion for solving complex problems, and are invested in improving the library website user experience. The U-M Library’s technology unit designs, develops, and supports the library’s primary web interfaces – including multiple websites, access systems, search apps, and mobile interfaces. These interfaces provide access to over 10 million physical and digital resources …

MLibrary – by the numbers

Last fall I created some graphics for a slide show for our annual library reception event to demonstrate some of what we do via stats and graphics. This was such a fun side project and I couldn’t have done it without the data gathering help of Helen Look and others. Full set here:

New Library UX listserv

Are you interested in libraries and UX (design, user research, etc.)? Then you might be interested in our new listserv: Library User Experience. Join us!

Now hiring – MLibrary User Experience (UX) Specialist

We’re looking for an innovative, and talented user experience professional to join our User Experience (UX) Department. The ideal candidate will be someone with a passion for better understanding users, the ability to use creative problem solving skills to design engaging interfaces, and an investment in improving the library web experience. The position is written more like a “generalist” than “specialist” because we’re a small department doing a wide-range of activities that span the entire development cycle. However, depending on …

UX photo booth 2011 (My ideal library…)

A few weeks ago I helped out again with the MLibrary Undergraduate library’s annual “Party for Your Mind” event to welcome the students back and introduce new students to the library. Like last year, I did a photo booth where I asked the students to complete the sentence “My ideal library ______” and like last year, I got a lovely combination of silly and serious responses. Quiet/Loud and food/sleeping were again popular themes! See the full set here.

MLibrary UX Developer opening

Wanna work on UX and mobile development for MLibrary and HathiTrust? The University of Michigan Library is seeking a talented front-end developer to join our User Experience (UX) Department. The UX Department focuses on interface design, mobile design and development, usability testing, user research, web use statistics, and accessibility. We are looking for someone with an investment in improving library users’ web experience. The primary focus of this position will be development of a variety of mobile websites.


iDesign student competition 2011

This is the second year of the University of Michigan Library’s iDesign competition. This year’s theme is virtual browsing and the challenge is to design an innovative tool which will enhance MLibrary’s discovery environment. We received some fantastic entries! I especially appreciate the projects that employed UX research methods to inform their designs. If you are so inclined, you can vote on the projects or just have a look at the individual projects: CataLIST “…a recommender system could be developed …


MLibrary Mobile: Is that the library in your pocket?

We’ve been very hard at work over in the User Experience Department! We started working on a year long mobile initiative in September and have officially wrapped our first phase of work. The result is a site that provides access to key library content and services in a mobile-friendly format. The site currently provides access to Mirlyn Mobile, a list of mobile friendly databases, library hours & locations, ask a librarian services, research guides, and news & events. The above …


Labels are hard

I’ve been joking at work about writing a series of “case studies in why things are hard” for some time now and I’m finally inspired to do so. We often get interface requests that seem perfectly reasonable and simple but once we start to work out the details, it becomes clear that it’s much more complex. It seems like more and more we are faced with interface issues that just seem nearly impossible to solve. Labels seem to be the …