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More than Usable: Library Services for Humans

More than Usable: Library Services for Humans

As Experience designers, we're interested in more than just products, services, and websites. But our toolkit looks remarkably like the toolkit product designers use: design for tasks, hope emotions will follow. But experience is big, and emotions aren't just the outputs from using something. We're going to need more than science to explain experience--we'll need philosophy, literature, poetry, and more.

In this talk, I explore how phenomenology (the branch of philosophy that deals with experience), metaphor, and frozen space urine can help us design better experiences for our library users by putting people and experiences first.

(This talk was the closing keynote at UX Lib: User Experience in Libraries Conference, Cambridge, UK, March 17-19, 2015.)

Matthew Reidsma

March 19, 2015

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  1. Names of the Sea, p.233 The stories told by numbers

    and research are quite different from the stories we tell ourselves and each other. This is not to say that either is wrong. “ Sarah Moss
  2. We tend to talk about transportation as if the ultimate

    goal were mere movement, measured in speed, time and capacity. “ Emily Badger http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/04/29/cutting-edge-transportation-maps-will-change-how-we-understand-and-plan-cities/
  3. The ultimate goal of transportation, though, isn't really to move

    us. It's to connect us -- to jobs, to schools, to the supermarket. “ Emily Badger http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/04/29/cutting-edge-transportation-maps-will-change-how-we-understand-and-plan-cities/
  4. Your members don’t come to the library to find books,

    or magazines, journals, films or musical recordings. “ Hugh Rundle http://hughrundle.net/2012/04/04/libraries-as-software-dematerialising-platforms-and-returning-to-first-principles/
  5. They come to hide from reality or understand its true

    nature. They come to find solace or excitement, companionship or solitude. “ Hugh Rundle http://hughrundle.net/2012/04/04/libraries-as-software-dematerialising-platforms-and-returning-to-first-principles/
  6. [Libraries] let people transform themselves through access to information and

    one another. “ Andromeda Yelton andromedayelton.com/blog/2015/02/16/c4l15-keynote-transcript/ Photo: Molly Tomlinson photoclave.com/
  7. We just don’t know if [our designs] work or not

    until we evaluate the subjective experience of the people using them. “ Victor Lombardi Why We Fail, p. 10
  8. A good science fiction story should be able to predict

    not the automobile, but the traffic jam. “ Frederik Pohl
  9. Instead of asking, “How can we know about the world?”

    Heidegger asked, “How does the world reveal itself to us through our encounters with it?” “ Paul Dourish Where the action is: the foundations of embodied interaction. MIT Press: 2004.
  10. Meaning provides a facet of usability that forces designers to

    think past function into the domains of culture, language, and everyday practice. “ Thomas Wendt Design for Dasein: Understanding the Desgin of Experiences, p.36
  11. When our tools are broken, we feel broken. And when

    somebody fixes one, we feel a tiny bit more whole. “ Lev Grossman qtd. in Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs, p. 473-74.
  12. qtd. in Dourish, Paul. Where the action is: the foundations

    of embodied interaction. MIT Press: 2004. As we act through technology that has become ready-to-hand, the technology itself disappears from our immediate concerns. We are caught up in the performance of the work. “ Martin Heidegger
  13. There is a constant movement between present-at-hand and ready- to-hand

    in everyday life, and designing with that movement in mind is the job of experience designers. “ Thomas Wendt Design for Dasein: Understanding the Desgin of Experiences, p.155
  14. User-friendliness is not merely an issue of the number of

    errors made per unit of time. It is rooted in the confidence of being able to handle disruptions. “ Klaus Krippendorff The Semantic Turn: A new foundation for design.
  15. “The Space Between You and Me,” The Manual, Issue #1,

    2012. Good technology makes us feel like we are inching closer to who we truly want to be. “ Frank Chimero
  16. Junod, Tom. “Can You Say...Hero?” Esquire. November, 1998. We make

    so many connections here on earth. Look at us—I’ve just met you, but I’m investing in who you are, and who you will be, and I can’t help it. “ Fred Rogers