Category Archives: User Experiences

Learn More About DT AND UX With Two New Resources

I first came across an article about user experience (UX) in January 2006. At the time I was doing some research for the book that would become Academic Librarianship by Design. Almost immediately I saw the connection between the two. User experiences could – probably should – be the outcome of a design thinking process. A library user experience, in particular, struck me as a challenging concept. What would that possibly mean for the end-users? What would constitute, to their way of thinking, a great library user experience? Whatever that might be it seemed reasonable that design activities could help to produce a much improved library user experience.

Since then the book has been completed and I’ve gone on to read many more articles about DT and UX, and I continue to explore, with you, how these two practices can be applied to benefit our libraries. Though they provide no immediate answers, and perhaps might be best consumed by someone new to both DT and UX, I’m going to recommend that you look at the following two new resources.

First, take an hour and watch a highly informative video about UX. “Subject to Change: Creating Great Products and Services For an Uncertain World” features Brandon Schauer and David Yerba, two designers from the firm Adaptive Path. In this Google Talks video presentation they share the key concepts from their new book of the same title. I took away a couple of ideas. First, these folks excel at keeping their explanations simple. User experience – that’s all the user cares about. The experience is the product. Do they enjoy themselves, do they accomplish what they need to do, and do they manage to do it the way they want – with simplicity? Well, there’s more to UX than that, but that’s a good start. I also like their way of explaining the type of design they bring to the process of developing the user experience – an activity everyone in the organization can embrace no matter what their background. Then they discuss The Long Wow – a Wow experience that repeatedly delivers great delights for the user, is memorable, and impresses. In other words, users remember it and return again for more of the same.  I’m looking forward to reading the book.

But how do you design that type of experience for your library? If you haven’t done much formal reading about design thinking now is a good time to start. And what better way to start than with a basic article about design thinking from one of the masters of the art – Tim Brown the CEO and President of IDEO. The article appears in the just published June 2008 issue of Harvard Business Review (p.85). The article relates the basic concepts of design thinking and why it can provide a better approach to developing human-centered solutions. In particular I like that Brown further elaborates on his explanation of the “three I’s” – Inspiration; Ideation; and Implementation (see the graphic in the article). I had previously heard Brown discuss this in a video presentation, but the graphic in the article provides a good visual representation of the process as it applies to problem finding, user studies, brainstorming, prototyping and solution development. And since those new to design thinking always ask for examples of how it is applied in real life situations, the article contains several case studies to illustrate the application of design thinking.

Even though I’ve been studying these ideas for over two years I continue to be amazed at the great articles and videos that help me to clarifying my thinking about DT and UX, and how these activities and approaches can be applied to the design of better libraries.


Customer Service vs User Experience

When talking to other librarians about user experience, the question/observation that invariably comes up is “but isn’t that just another way of saying we all need to give great customer service”. I admit it’s a good question. I don’t doubt that organizations that have mastered the user experience all incorporate great customer service into the process. A talk I attended recently got me thinking about the difference between great customer service and great library user experiences. I would say there is a difference and that it can be explained.

Good customer service is important to any service organization, and that includes libraries. To my way of thinking, good customer service must be a given. It’s not added value. We might even describe good customer service, for library organizations, as a core value service. Without it we fail to fulfill our mission. But if every library provided great customer service there is nothing about great customer service that differentiates an individual library. Most library users would then (and I would argue should) have the expectation to get good customer service in any library they visit.

User experience, on the other hand, is all about creating a difference. As was explained in the talk I attended, so many competitors can now offer exactly the same products, at exactly the same price, with exactly the same customer service. Differentiation is a critical strategy in any highly competitive environment. For many businesses and services the only way to now achieve differentiation is to create a unique experience for their customers. And that experience can’t be random. It should be the result of a carefully constructed design.

I’m not saying that consistently delivering good customer experience is easy. But I do think our staff working in those areas of the library operation that are expected to offer good customer service know what they need to do and some basic ways in which it can be accomplished. Designing a good library user experience, on the other hand, is going to take a more strategic effort to determine how and in what ways the library can differentiate itself through a variety of customer interactions. It’s not going to necessarily be the same for every library. At one library the experience might be designed around total simplicity – making the library and its systems as easy to use at every possible touch point. At another library it might designed around academic success – always communicating the message that the library helps students and faculty achieve success on their terms – and delivering on it at every touch point. Why will those library experiences be different? Because, as our speaker told us, all user experience design eminates from an organization’s core value system. Each library, as it develops its design for the user experience, must first grasp and be able to articulate what its core value propositions are.

Fortunately, quite a few of my library colleagues attended this talk. I’m glad they heard these messages about designing a user experience for a library, why it’s important in our competitive information landscape, and why it’s about more than good customer service. Together I think we can begin to discuss what our core values are, and then use that knowledge to design our library user experience.


The Applied Empathy Framework

Empathic design is an important part of an overall design thinking approach to designing better libraries. It’s all about understanding your users from their perspective – putting yourself in their shoes so to speak – as a way of rethinking how your library could deliver better products and services. If you want to explore the empathic design concept in greater depth I recommend a three-part series by Dirk Knemeyer on applied empathy. He describes it as a “design framework for meeting human needs and desires”. Part one of the series focuses on applying empathy to the design process and provides an introduction to the framework. Part two of the series explains the three dimensions of human behavior and outlines specific needs and desires to which products and services can be designed. Part three of the series shows how the framework can be put to practical use.

To understand the framework you first need to become familiar with the five states of being. About them Knemeyer says they:

reflect the increasing relationship between the power and importance of needs at each level and the degree of personal commitment and desire each level engenders toward a product or user experience. That is to say, even those who have not yet realized their lowest-level needs can identify the value and impact of, as well as tacitly desire, the highest-level states of being.

The five states of being are participation, engagement, productivity, happiness and well-being. While understanding the five states of being is important to appreciating the framework, Knemeyer’s three dimensions of human behavior are critical to the framework. The dimensions are the analytical, the physical and the emotional. Reading about the dimensions added to my thinking about how the overall library experiences need to be a totality of experiences rather than isolated ones. Great library user experiences need to be more than just an isolated experience at one desk or one person; they need to be delivered across the organization, not unlike reaching people on all three dimensions. All three are explained in greater detail in part two, where you can find a visual representation of these ideas, but of them Knemeyer writes:

Rather than simply considering a product and how customers will use it, be conscious of the fact that people ultimately need each of their analytical, emotional, and physical needs met…If we are cognizant of this and actively consider all three when planning our products, marketing, and experiences, we are much more likely to enjoy design success.

So how might a library experience meet the user’s needs on the analytical, physical and emotional levels? Meeting analytical needs is perfect for the library because it is all about the mind. Everything from a good book, a featured speaker, getting help with research and even getting involved in games can help to meet analytical needs and desires. The physical and emotional needs are a bit more challenging. Library activities are hardly physical, unless you count carrying books and bound volumes to the photocopier or circulation desk. But I suspect that most folks know that library work is a cerebral endeavor and don’t mistake it for a fitness activity. I’m on the border for emotional needs. For some readers, libraries can take on an almost spiritual quality. FInding the just right book or having a social moment can certainly elicit emotion in library users.

I’ll be thinking more about this and how the library experience could meet all three human dimensions of human behavior. Knemeyer’s ideas on applied empathy are helpful to me in seeing there is more to empathic design than just putting yourself in the place of the user. There are multiple dimensions in which an empathic understanding can develop. For now I’ve got to tackle a pile of good user experience articles that I’ve been meaning to read. More on that later.

Encounters And Experiences

I was glad to come across the blog Design for Service recently because it helped me to better grasp and articulate the difference between what normally happens at our service desks and what could be happening. I had been referring to desk interactions as “transactions” which is not entirely inaccurate but it just sounds inappropriate. To my way of thinking a transaction is what happens when you conduct business at an ATM – something mechanical in nature. Consider checking out a book. I see people using our self-check machines, and for them it is a convenient transaction – much like using an ATM. When I observe people doing the same thing at our circulation desk it might be a routine transaction, or depending on the people involved in the exhange it might be more than that, quite possibly an encounter but rarely an experience.

In his post “The Experience Pledge” Jeff Howard’s point is that not everything – in fact most things – is not an experience. What are they? He writes:

Our lives are mainly composed of encounters, not experiences. The difference between an encounter and an experience is the difference between a gathering and a party. It’s the difference between eating and having a meal. It’s the difference between stepping and dancing; and between speaking and singing.

The difference between these encounters and experiences is that in the case of the experience we are recognizing that something special, unique or memorable is happening. You might not remember what you had for lunch a few days ago if you simply eat the same boring few things week in and week out, but if you had a fantastic dining experience some time ago it’s likely you still remember it well. But that’s not all. Howard points to three distinct feature of well-designed (they don’t happen by accident in most cases) experiences:

* It’s an encounter with a clearly articulated beginning, middle and end.
* It’s so compelling people would pay admission just to be part of the interaction.
* It’s designed so that people must be there directly to benefit.

Where Howard confuses me though is his distinction between a UX Designer and an Experience Designer. He believes that most UX Designers only design enounters, and that the people designing products and services that meet his three criteria are actually Experience Designers. That difference may be a bit too fine grained for me. I’d like to think that in our library environments a person or team that designs experiences can be called any number of titles, but what really counts is their ability to turn encounters into experiences. 

The Interview Learning Experience

There’s nothing quite like reading good, clear explanations of the basic concepts and approaches we focus on here at DBL. Librarians may struggle as they seek to understand and familiarize themselves with design thinking, user experiences and other important elements of a library that delivers a great user experience. That’s why I found Kate Rudder’s interview with Nathan Shedroff to be informative and enlightening on several levels. Shedroff is experience strategist, author, and the Program Chair and founder of the brand new MBA in Design Strategy at California College of the Arts. Unlike some of the more technical articles on design thinking and user experience, the interview format makes it possible to learn from an expert who puts the theory into a more practical framework. Here are some snippets from the interview:

Design processes, specifically, approach the challenge to imagine and devise new solutions, in any context, by looking at customers in meaningful ways, integrating data from a variety of sources, and using it as a starting point instead of an ending point. Design respects different kinds of prototyping and iteration, which is an important part of the process.

You don’t have to be a designer to learn to innovate like one, but it helps if you’ve been through the process a few times to understand what to expect and how the process needs to be supported.

Design [with a big “D”]is about how people approach a challenge and develop a solution and, as such, these processes are extendable into almost any domain: interaction design, organizational design, etc. However, most of the time that the word design [with a little “d”] is used, it is often referring to a particular type of design or domain: graphic, industrial, web, interaction, fashion, interior, etc. and it invokes all of the baggage associated with that domain in both the speaker and the listener.

Great designers have processes they rely on to investigate, ideate, prototype, iterate, validate, and communicate that they can employ to validate what their intuition may be leading them to.

Check out the rest of the interview. I think you’ll find it a good learning experience

Overcoming The Rules Culture In Our Libraries

Two things are on my mind lately. I’ve written previously about what would constitute a good user experience for a library user, and I continue to explore how we could make this happen for our local library user community. But to do accomplish that I’ve also been thinking about what holds us back from reaching our great experience goals. One barrier that emerges again and again is our traditional library rules culture. We have so many rules and policies that we have to search our own web sites to find them when a rule check is required. How does this contrast with the rules environment our users experience in the retail environment?

Have it your way! No rules, just fun! But when you get to the library – “You want that book for another loan period. Sorry, the rules say you can only renew it twice.” I just finished reading The Starbucks Experience, and while the book is by no means one of the best I’ve read on user experience, a librarian reading the book would immediately sense the significant difference between a Starbucks and a library – even the libraries selling coffee. When it comes to their customers, Starbucks doesn’t have rules.  I’ve gone in Starbucks and asked for a small coffee in the medium cup, so I can add milk. Guess what? There’s no cup size rule. I’m sure Starbucks, like all service organizations, has policies that dictate the delivery of customer service. But the difference is that Starbucks employees are empowered to bend, break or shatter the rules if that’s what it takes to deliver a great experience to the consumer.

There are good reasons to institute some rules in our libraries. If study rooms are in significant demand during the exam study period, imposing a time limit can create equitable access to the rooms. That’s a case when a rule makes sense because it does try to allow a good experience to be shared among the community. Where rules break down the experience is when they are used to frustrate users and inhibit their ability to use the library. For example, a student group has already signed up for and used a study room earlier in the day. Now they want to use a study group again in the afternoon. The library rules clearly state only one room per day per group. So they don’t get the room. But there are three study rooms that aren’t being used, so they want to know why they can’t use one. What happens now? Will the library staff member stick to the rule for fear of being disciplined for breaking one or put a commitment to giving those users a great library experience ahead of the rule book?

I suppose the outcome depends on how much effort is made at that library to empower all staff members to  adjust the rules and policies as needed to accommodate and satisfy the library user. That seems to be the conversation we need to begin having in our libraries if we are to change our rules culture. To my way of thinking the first step is to shift the library culture from one that’s designed around the needs of the library administrators and staff to maintain control over the collections and facility, to a culture that is designed around a focus on delivering great library experiences to the user community. Until we take that first step collectively as a library staff, we will have little success in changing our rules culture. 

Another Example Submitted For Your Reaction

I have no intention of turning my DBL posts into some version of the user experience police, but I might on occasion point to what could be a bogus use of the UX concept. Whether it might be because the use in case is an example of pointless bandwagon jumping, total misuse of the concept or just some shameless effort to get attention with the concept, you could be reading about it here. But since I’m not always entirely certain myself as to what great library user experiences might be – that’s a practice still in evolution – perhaps critically analyzing some different ways in which UX is being applied in library settings can help to further define just what is a great library user experience – be it using the library facility, a library instructional product or some other library-related resource.

Seeing the spread of ideas about design thinking and user experience in the library profession is something I generally look forward to as a positive development. But I just had my first encounter with a library product vendor (in the role of an article author) applying the term “user experience” as a way to describe what the product delivers. I’m not so sure I’m feeling positive about this use of UX. It reminds me of the Ziggy cartoon where the diner menu says “chili – $2.50…”the chili experience – $4.00”.

 I would first question the title “User Experience in the Library: A Case Study” as potentially misleading. The discussion hardly deals with a library user experience at all, but instead focuses rather narrowly on OPAC overlay products, in particular the one produced by the author’s firm. The author, Tamar Sedeh works for Ex Libris, and the article is largely about Primo, Ex Libris’ OPAC overlay. For example, Sedeh writes: “The Primo system includes metasearching as an integral part of the user experience.” I haven’t asked them, but I wonder if most end-users’ idea of a user experience would match the author’s.

What concerns me about an article like this, though I suspect it won’t reach a large audience, is its potential to mislead library professionals about user experience and what it is. Again, I’m just learning about this myself, but I don’t think UX is what happens when library users search OPACs, even those with more user friendly designed overlays. However, searching library systems, if they are simple and give good results consistently, could be one part of the totality of a great library user experience. After all, what if the library OPAC does provide a great experience, and then the user goes to the stacks and can’t understand how to find the book by its call number, or the stacks are in terrible condition – and there’s no way to get on-the-spot help. At that point the user probably won’t be having such a great experience at the library.

 But I believe this author makes the error of confusing usability – which is largely discussed in this article - and user experience. They are not the same. Think of it like this. The iPod, most of us would agree, is a highly usable electronic device – intuitive, simple, reliable – and I don’t think most of us would confuse an iPod with a library OPAC.  The iPod is a good example of a device for the age of the user experience. But the iPod, by itself, is only a part of the overall user experience. The experience is all that Apple offers as part of being an iPod owner – iTunes, shopping at the iTunes store, the coolness of showing off your iPod, or more recently your iTouch. It is, in some ways, about the totality of the experience. Think back to what Dr. Gribbons had to say about this:

Usability is often isolated in development units, whereas companies who are getting UX right these days are talking about the user experience at the very top levels within the organization – not just in the tech and development shops. This leads to a more complete integration of the user experience with UX as a foundation as opposed to an afterthought. 

While the DBL blog team certainly is doing what it can to expand the library community’s knowledge about design thinking and great library user experiences, I have my apprehensions about those who will simply slap the phrase “user experience” on library-related job descriptions, services or products the same way that corporations will slap the word “organic” or “homemade” on products that are manufactured by mahines in assembly lines. Just putting the label on something doesn’t make it the real thing.

We certainly can’t eliminate innappropriate or misleading applications of user experience in librarianship, but we can continue to point them out as potentially bad examples that are worthy of our analysis. We might even use them to further our own understanding and appreciation of the meaning of a great library user experience. If you think I’m displaying some arrogance here, let me know. I may not know as much as I think about user experience, and perhaps I’m not qualified to be critical of other librarians or product vendors who co-opt the phrase for their own purposes. Read the article and see what you think – and then share your thoughts.

User Experience Librarian – The Next Bandwagon?

Over at Ubiquitous Librarian, Brian pointed to a few academic libraries, including his own, that have created new positions that are being described as “User Experience Librarian.” I’m not sure what to make of this, and I wonder if it is the start of a fad that will attract some bandwagon jumpers. It certainly does sound like a cool job that would likely attract some attention.

But based on the descriptions I’ve read it seems the tendency is to take a traditional public service job with traditional responsibilities, such as reference and instruction, add a dash of assessment or usability testing and then slap the title “User Experience” on it. For example, one of the position descriptions says “a User Experience Librarian to provide leadership for digital initiatives and services in the user, reference, and instructional programs of the library”. Hmm, nothing in there about taking leadership for understanding users, developing empathic-driven services or creating a library environment that provides memorable experiences.

I also detect a significant Web 2.0 and usability testing component to these positions. Web 2.0 does not equal creating good user experiences in libraries. An Emerging Technologies Librarian does not equal a UX Librarian. A Usability/Interface Design Librarian does not equal a UX Librarian. I wonder if the library administrators creating these positions really understand the concept of the user experience and if these positions will really be geared to developing great user experiences or designing better libraries. Or is this just a case of “they did it so we should do it too” thinking.

So what exactly should a position description for a UX Librarian read like. Well, I’m not entirely sure and I’ve been doing a good amount of reading and studying on this topic. I also examined some non-library UX job descriptions and the description for a Usability/User Experience Specialist that U.S. News & World Report profiled in their recent special report on “best careers for 2008”. But let me take a crack at developing a UX Librarian position description:

Library seeks an individual who understands and is able to articulate what a great library user experience should be, and who has the desire and ability to translate that knowledge into practice. Our ideal candidate will engage colleagues to develop innovative ideas that will turn our library into the campus destination where students WANT to be and create passionate library users who WANT to use our resources. As our user experience specialist this librarian makes sure our services and instructional products are both easy and pleasurable to use. The UX Librarian has demonstrated experience in observing and interviewing both current and potential library users to developing an inventory of user needs and preferences. Shifting library services and products from the mundane to the unexpected and memorable is a core responsibility of this position. The UX Librarian also brings to the library a perspective of totality in developing a user experience; the library experience must be consistent across all library services points, non-public operations and extend out into the user community. Past experience with a variety of survey and assessment methods, including user satisfaction surveys, focus groups, one-on-one interviewing and anthropological research techniques is highly desirable. Other desirable qualities include knowledge of design thinking methods, demonstrated knowledge of the user experience literature, and degrees or demonstrated experience in fields such as computer science, cognitive pyschology, anthropology, human factors research or marketing.

If this was the type of job description we were seeing for UX Librarians I think one problem becomes obvious. There probably aren’t too many librarians, maybe no one with an MLS degree, who has the right experience to do this job. Perhaps developing UX Librarians is going to be an “on-the-job” development exercise for this specialty. Just as we’ve been exploring what a great library user experience means here at DBL, we should also start thinking about what it means to be a UX Librarian. And it may be that the right individuals for these positions shouldn’t even be librarians, but professionals from other fields who have the necessary training and experience.

Perhaps the good thing about libraries developing UX Librarian positions is that their early experience will help to define the job. Though the tone of my post may at times sound skeptical or critical, I’m taking the appearance of these new positions as a positive sign that librarians are beginning to recognize the value of UX and intend to take it seriously as a path to designing a better library. It’s exciting to see libraries creating both Blended Librarian and UX Librarian positions; it’s truly encouraging that these ideas and practices are moving into the mainstream of librarianship. Now what we need to do is to further our knowledge and understanding of what makes a great library user experience – it’s more than just excellent customer service – so that we can begin to create positions that will have a serious shot at achieving UX success in the library.

Designing Better Skateboards – an example of user-centered design

I caught a commercial on CNN last night that visually summed up the design thinking process in under 30 seconds. Unfortunately it has not made it to YouTube yet, Cisco isn’t that cutting edge, but you can view it here. In case they change their website around, look for the Thundersk8 Skateboard Manufacturer clip.

Essentially the video shows how they took a basic design and gave it to users, who in turn improve the product functionally and aesthetically, arriving at an ideal board. It demonstrates the process of working out flaws based on a prototype, and striving toward the perfect skating experience.

I can relate…

We’re in the process of exploring a minor renovation to a high traffic area in the library. We’re approaching it with a completely open mind, really trying to keep our bias out of it and listening to users. There is an elaborate assessment backbone to this renovation– one component involves a series of focus groups. I spent two hours composing “ideal” focus groups, matching up students sure to have interesting opinions, ranging for accomplished artists, scholars, leaders, and other interesting personalities. I sent out my invites and got little response. In fact, at my first session I had no participants.

Time to regroup. I starting spending a lot of time in the proposed area and approached people within the space and invited them to attend focus groups and other means of contribution—this has been very successful. Like the skateboard case study, I had to take it to the streets. Take the problem/idea/concept to the people actually using the space, who had a greater chance of being passionate about the area and an invested interested in the renovation. We’re hoping to design several prototypes which we will again turn over to our users for additional feedback.

The Total User Experience

Editor’s Note: Today we feature a guest post from Valeda Dent, Associate University Librarian for Research and Instructional Services at Rutgers University. Valeda is interested in creating better user experiences in libraries. In this post she shares what she learned at a recent program about user experiences. Many thanks to Valeda for sharing her thoughts about this program with us.

On January 24, 2008, I along with several colleagues from Rutgers University Libraries attended the Society for Technical Communication/Usability Professionals Association talk by Dr. Bill Gribbons, entitled “The Total User Experience: The Road Ahead.” The talk was mesmerizing to say the least. Although the group from Rutgers Libraries was perhaps the only non-industry group in the room (attendees were mostly technical writers, usability experts, and development folks from sectors like finance, healthcare, and business), we were instantly and pleasantly convinced that Dr. Gribbons was talking only to us when he began his presentation. Dr. Gribbons, who is very well known in human factors and usability circles, currently serves as the Director of the Human Factors and Information Design program at Bentley College. He also runs a consulting firm that helps companies and others to understand their users better, and pay closer attention to their needs. He has done a lot of work for academic institutions, and is highly sought after in his field.  The user experience movement, or “UX” has been gaining popularity within the business sector over the past few years. It follows closely on the heels of the usability movement – but as Dr. Gribbons points out, is a much more holistic and integrative approach to the user experience. You’ll hear it mentioned within library circles too these days, as we all continue to find ways to meet and surpass the expectations of our users.

To contextualize UX, Dr. Gribbons used the example of consumer electronics as an example. Ten years ago, the technology associated with consumer electronics was all the rage. But today, the technology used for cell phones, high definition TVs, and digital cameras is pretty much the same. So how do companies capture our attention? The difference is in the experience. What, exactly, is UX? The rich definition reflects its complexity. Dr. Gribbons suggests it is a progression of what we (as service/product/resource providers) value. It is deeply rooted in quantitative research, and references areas such as human cognition, the psychology of learning and behaviorism. In the 1980s, functionality, whether for software, automobiles, consumer electronics – was highly valued. Developers and engineers just got things to work, and technical support provided huge user manuals and assistance to help users figure it all out. It was not uncommon to have a 300 page user manual for a new software package, and customer satisfaction was generally low as a result. In the 1990s, usefulness, ease of use and usability were highly valued. Dr. Gribbons described this phase as being characterized by reducing the workload for the user, minimizing errors, and embedding support. User manuals got smaller because stuff just worked better. Customer satisfaction went up. These days, functionality and usability are almost a given.

That leaves us with UX, the next step in a natural progression towards creating a better user experience. Hallmarks include user segmentation (recognizing that different user groups require different approaches and resources), consideration of human and emotional factors, simplicity, and making the experience the brand. When companies and businesses get this part right, customer satisfaction is very high, and user manuals disappear.  Dr. Gribbons emphasized simplicity – that is, taking complex systems and products, and making them simple for the user, but without compromising their richness. He also talked a great deal about the difference between usability and UX:  Usability is often isolated in development units, whereas companies who are getting UX right these days are talking about the user experience at the very top levels within the organization – not just in the tech and development shops. This leads to a more complete integration of the user experience with UX as a foundation as opposed to an afterthought. 

So why UX, and why should librarians care? Thinking about the user experience more holistically and designing better user experiences may just be the key to addressing some of the questions the profession has been asking for years. “What’s the future of reference?” “How do we integrate the digital and the physical?” “How do we design spaces our users will actually want to spend time in?” Think about UX within this context. Think about how many different help screens and directions we need for users to find and use resources on our websites. Think about all the maps and directions they need to find resources in our buildings. Then think about shifting that burden of understanding how to use something or find something away from the user. That’s the power of UX.