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LibHub

A career development application that bridges individuals to catered resources at their local library.

My Experience

Being the first time on a design team, I was thrilled to be part of this 3 person team. I learned so much about User Experience in these five weeks with my teammates. I learned the significance of domain research and human-centered design process as I saw myself soaking new information about a traditional community resource. I made outlasting relationships as I saw my teammates turn into my friends. 

Role

UX Designer

Time Frame

5 weeks

Tools Used

Axure

Sketch

Keynote

Pen + Paper

Introduction

Libraries bring together diverse populations and provide unique access to a variety of activities, information, and education. With technology playing such a large role in people’s lives, it remains challenging for the library to identify and adapt to the dynamic needs of its community- raising their expectations about digital engagement.

 

On the other hand, people still depend on the library’s services and physical space to help them form communities- regardless of the conventional views of their role as a cultural institution. But because most libraries are funded by municipal budgets, they do not have the resources to keep up with developing technology, trends, and community preferences. The role of providing free access to information and services for everyone is central to the mission and culture of the library. In an effort to expand the economic and social opportunities, the local library desires to build a digitally inclusive community.

The Challenge

Our task is to research and discover the community needs and how the library is currently serving them. The end goal is to build a digitally inclusive community that focuses on a community’s primary need by targeting a user group’s specific need.

Learning the Landscape

Following a design-thinking methodology. Our first step, above all, was to understand our landscape. What are some current trends relating to the Library? We dug into some domain research and discovered critical information about

library engagement.

 

In 2016 there were 1.5 billion in-person visits to public libraries across the United States, a 10-year increase of 20.7 percent. More than 92.6 million people attended the 4.0 million programs at public libraries in 2016. Attendance showed a 1-year increase of 5.2 percent and a 10-year increase of 54.4 percent. There were 271,146 public access computers and 340.5 million use sessions in public libraries in 2016, representing a 1-year increase of 3.7 percent.

Direct Competitors

Libby

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OverDrive

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Both Libby and Overdrive offer a wide variety of books and information across an international database, which expands the possibilities for users and allows them to gain resources from a broader pool.

On the other hand, both these platforms limit the amount of engagement toward local communities. They lack a physical space where users can be partake in events or activities.

YMCA

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Indirect Competitors

MindBody

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TimeOut Chicago

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Although the services they offer are different, they all provide a platform for members to get involved in their respective communities. These platforms provide a potential space for an individual to engage with their resources and attend events, classes or community gatherings.

Key Takeaway

Implement Better Access to Resources and User Engagement

 

We want to build a platform that encourages involvement and the sharing of resources. In the age of easy isolation, due to advances in technology, we want to encourage our users to go outside and experience what their city has to offer through public resources.

User Research

To get a better understanding of the Chicago Library System we talked to 2 subject matter experts (librarians) to develop professional perspective on the library's current role in the community. We also interviewed 6 community members, ranging from frequent to infrequent library goers.

Key Insights

Validated Library Assumptions

With the technological advancements, we noticed that the library is actually adapting to these changes- they have tons of online databases to search generations worth of information, they provide entertainment databases, e-books and online magazines.

Young Professional Users Focus on Career-Based information

We started to see a behavior pattern emerge with our users. 4 of 5 were young professionals between ages 21-29 that were entirely focused on using the library on information relating to their career

Users Would be Interested in Programs and Workshops that Relate to Them

We found that 71% of users were not aware of the programs the library has to offer.

BUT

“83% of users said they would be interested to find out about programs related to their needs”

“Gosh, I think there are probably upwards of 30 different databases, like we've got the preparation guides online for SAT, GED, GMAT, ACT, LSAT, GRE, Catholic school entry  exam several other one is a bunch of test prep for education purposes.”

 

         - SME (Librarian at the Chicago Public Library)

“I study and sometimes for work I have to search policy stuff and the library has that but most of the time I go study for the LSATs, and it's usually a quiet place to study. The library has a lot of like government and policy documents that I like to review if I ever need like more in depth information”

                                   

                                                                    - Paralegal

when asked about attending library events

"Ah, it all depends on what kind of program it is. Obviously, if it's some somewhat related to what I study or what I do, I might be interested. But otherwise, I'd rather not be notified.”

                                                               - Interviewee

User Persona

Copy of Week 2_Styled Persona_v2_DO-RITE

Problem Statement

Defining The Problem

We realized our target group started to evolve and began to connect the dots between user behavior and their current interactions with programs or workshops at the library. Young professionals, who are constantly trying to advance in their careers don’t have much time to attend the library for resources that aren’t relevant to them.

We know these users are aware that the library has an abundance of resources, but now it is about providing that connection between young professionals and resources that help them professionally.

“The eager young professional needs a way to filter through the amount of information available at their library to access career development resources that caters to their background.”

Ideation

Areas to Explore

For our Ideation phase, Our brainstorming session included 6-8-5 sketching. We decided to narrow our focus on two areas to explore

Personalization: We wanted to explore ways to personalize information that caters to the users background.

Career-based: Displays the type of information that provides users with professional development

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With these concepts, we can get a sense of what our user does, what field they are aiming to learn more about, and what their interests are. We wanted to express the information available based on what they set up in the on-boarding process. All that information is catered here to them based on what they might like but also what they search for.

Wireframes

After concept testing, we were able to validate our ideas and identify the strengths for the application moving forward. We took the screens with the best feedback and converted them to wireframes.

Key Screens

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Usability Testing

Our next step was to evaluate the usability, efficiency, and utility of LibHub. A total of 5 participants were recruited for 30 min to an hour-long usability study to gather user feedback on the interface flow, navigation, screen layout, content, etc. As well as evaluate the product's organizational clarity, labeling. and consistency of UI elements.

Metrics Used:

  • Quesenbery’s 5 E’s

  • Number of Errors per Task

  • Completion Rate per Task

  • Task Ratings

Specific Goals:

  • Personalizing user’s needs

  • Finding relevant career advancement workshops/events

  • Booking an event as well as canceling

  • Saving events and books for easy access

Outcome:

Overall, participants had a positive response to the app’s look and feel, despite a few functional and usability issues. Positive feedback included: straightforward and basic layout with a familiar feel that was easy to navigate or figure out, like many other apps. 4 out of 5 participants completed all assigned task. With a 7.9 Net Promoter Score

Solution

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