As part of the Library Information Technology Unit (LIT), the User Experience (UX) department supports the library's primary user interfaces, including the MLibrary website, the catalog (Mirlyn), the MLibrary mobile interfaces, digital library collections, and the HathiTrust Digital Library. Our efforts are focused on interface design (interaction design & visual design), user research, assessment (usability, web use statistics analysis), content management and strategy, and web accessibility.
Contact the User Experience department at email@example.com if you have comments or questions.
Improving the Library's Website
Starting in July 2013, when we hired a Web Content Strategist and UX Designer, the UX Department has begun a concerted improvement of the library's web ecosystem. We have empowered a group of web content coordinators from divisions across the library, and are working closely with them on projects large and small. To name just a few efforts, we have begun to roll out an expanded web presence for our collections, helped launch a blogging platform for the library, improved the library gateway by adding quick links, frequently used databases and spotlight features, and retired quite a bit of outdated and duplicated content.
HathiTrust Digital Library - Regular & Mobile Interface Design
The HathiTrust Digital Library is a multi-institutional repository of digitized materials that provides access to over 10 million books & journals (over 2.6 million public domain and fully viewable) with a search across full text of all volumes, and ability to create and share collections.
The UX Department designed and developed a mobile version (m.hathitrust.org) in 2012 and recently completed a full redesign of the system in Winter 2013.
Designed interface, developed, and created promotional campaign.
Use m.lib.umich.edu on your mobile device to find library hours and locations, search the Mirlyn catalog, find mobile-friendly databases, and even IM a Librarian!
User Experience Research
User research is an important part of our design and problem-solving process. We utilize a variety of methods including surveys, "guerrila" usability, interviews, and remote observations to better understand user needs, perceptions, and behavior. We occasionally share our studies, along with those done as collaboration with special projects and committees. User Research Reports in Deep Blue.
2011 MLibrary By the Numbers
Designed information graphics for annual library reception party.
HathiTrust Digital Library - User Personas
In 2011, the UX Department worked with the HathiTrust UX Advisory Group to develop a set of personas to represent users of the HathiTrust Digital Library. The seven personas draw from past usability evaluations, user research, user-generated comments and feedback, web analytics, observations of use collected by the UX Advisory Group and their colleagues, and other sources. The purpose of the personas is to help staff working on HathiTrust (developers, policy makers, user experience designers and researchers, reference and instruction librarians, etc.) learn more about HathiTrust users, discover how we can better suit their needs, and identify areas in which to do more in-depth research.
Final HathiTrust Personas and a report on the making of the personas.
Party for Your Mind - Photobooth
The UX Department has participated for the last 3 years in an annual event to welcome new students and welcome back returning students. We set up a photo booth to capture the students’ energy and enthusiasm while also gathering a little information, in the students own words, about what they value in a library. Students were given a piece of card stock emblazoned with “My ideal library… ______ ” and were then asked to fill in the blank and pose for a photograph with it.
Photos available for: 2012 2011 2010
Project featured in the publication Participatory Design in Academic Libraries