User Experience (UX)

We can learn a huge amount about how our users experience (and feel about) library services, spaces and products by adopting rich qualitative and quantitative research methods that come under the umbrella term ‘UX’ (User eXperience). Crucially UX explores user behaviours and needs, not just what they say they want.


In my User Experience courses I show participants how to supplement data that libraries have always taken (footfall, loans, database usage) with a range of invaluable behavioural and attitudinal methods which study and explore the real activities and experiences of their users. Through a range of easy-to-use and low cost methods I can help you lift the lid on the lives of your users and show how the data collected from these methods can be translated into new services and products.

Typically I run intensive one or two-day courses on this topic which are highly practical and immersive and explore methods such as:

  • behavioural mapping
  • participant observation
  • interview technique
  • user journey mapping
  • card sorting
  • cultural probes
  • cognitive mapping
  • touchstone tours
  • love and break-up letters
  • photo studies
  • graffiti walls
  • idea generation techniques

One-day course: An exploration of the value of UX research techniques and their application in the library sector – a highly interactive and practical introduction to all the key methods.

Two-day course: In addition to the one day methods course (above) a practical day during which library staff try out the methods in their own library under my direction with real library users and collect and map data with a view to improving specific services. The second day allows participants to put their learning into action immediately, exposing them to tangible data and real opportunities for service design change.

Consulting: I am also open to the possibility of short-term consulting opportunities with a view to embedding user experience research methods in Higher Education environments, building on the work I conducted within Cambridge University libraries between 2015-17.

UK and beyond:
I have presented these courses at Universities all around the UK (Wolverhampton, Surrey, Salford; House of Commons, Cranfield, Southampton, Bath Spa, Anglia Ruskin) and over the last year to librarians from different institutions in the following countries: Australia, Denmark, Ireland, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand. I have also offered the course to public library staff in the Netherlands and Australia.

Melbourne, LaTrobe, RMIT and Deakin Universities (Melbourne, Australia):
‘Superb! I thought Andy was a warm, confident, humorous, and engaging speaker. UX in libraries is long overdue and I am delighted to see it now come to the forefront!!’; ‘Andy, thanks for a fabulous and thought provoking day of learning. Lots of practical stuff covered to put in our toolkits.’;  ‘Awesome, full of energy and positive processes that I can take back and use.’; ‘Fantastic high energy creative and educational session. Top marks!!’.

House of Commons:
‘Very informative and enlightening, and really well presented’; ‘Really positive, informative session. I’m amazed by the different research methods, there is something in all of them that is valuable. Certain methods will be  very easily applied and I’m really excited to implement them. Thank you for opening up a whole new world of qualitative feedback and research!’

Singapore Universities:
‘I feel very enlightened as well as excited about the ideas and tools I have learnt today. The session was fun, well-paced and full of very practical advice on how to get started’; ‘Kept me engaged throughout the day’; ‘Andy helped frame and package UX in the library context. Interactive and participatory – thank you!’

University of Salford:
‘A great way of sampling the UX methodologies’; ‘Lots of ideas to go and explore further. An engaging presenter with a good balance of interactive task ad presentations’.

University of Lancaster:
‘The UX event challenged all our assumptions and provided an entirely new way of looking at user experience. Through a combination of engaging presentation and hands-on activity we were introduced to a range of techniques that we could immediately take and apply to gain insight into the perceptions, experiences and behaviours of our users. With staff from all areas of our service attending there was something of value for everyone to take away. Our staff said “it was different to anything I have attended”, “incredibly helpful, thought provoking”, “a good blend of theory and activity”, “I feel motivated to carry ideas forward”, “genuinely inspiring and useful”, “a super day”, ” Inspired!”. Phil Cheeseman, Head of Academic Services, Lancaster University Library

Email me to find out more about my UX days or to tailor an event to your specific needs.