User Experience (UX)

I offer a range of training courses and consulting covering UX research and the wider UX design process which can help us to transform UX research data into new and more relevant library services.

What is User Experience research?
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 research explores user behaviours and needs, not just what users say they want.

In my User Experience research methods 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. Crucially these methods are easy-to-use and low cost too.

What is User Experience Design?
User Experience Design is all about translating the data you have collected using UX research methods into new services and products to test. It involves mapping and analysing data, idea generation, and testing service prototypes. Too often we stop researching after we have collected data. We either don’t do anything with it or just solve the easier problems. If you adopt a wider UX design process, the UX research stage is merely a starting point that can lead to real service transformation.

Typically I run intensive one, two or three-day courses on UX research and design which are highly practical and immersive.

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:

  • 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

Follow-up courses (or second/third days of multi-day courses): In addition to the one day methods course, I offer fieldwork and UX design days 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 services.

These days allows participants to put their learning into action immediately, exposing them to tangible data and real opportunities for service design change. On these days participants also learn about how to embed a UX design process in their institutions by moving from UX research into idea generation and from there to prototyping and iteration of new services.

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

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 delivered UX courses to public library staff in Ireland, the Netherlands and Australia.

Melbourne, La Trobe, 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.