The why, what and how of using ethnography for designing user experience in libraries (and a few pitfalls to avoid.

Part of book or chapter of book English OPEN
Emary, Leah (2016)
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Subject: Z665

If you're reading this book, it's likely that you're engaged with creating a library user experience that is usable and convenient, pleasurable and meaningful. The drive to revamp or create services is laudable and it’s tempting to begin brainstorming new services or changes to existing library spaces based on what we believe is usable, convenient, pleasurable and meaningful. Our professional understanding of what library users want from their experience, however, can differ vastly from what our users themselves want from their experience. Finding out what a user truly needs and truly wants can be deceptively difficult, as it's not a question of what we think our users will find usable, convenient, pleasurable or meaningful and we also can't necessarily rely on how our users say they will find usable, convenient, pleasurable or meaningful. In this chapter, I argue that we can rely on what their actions tell us about their experience in the library to get a truer understanding of what they want and need.
  • References (3)

    Murphy E. and Dingwall R. (2001) The Ethics of Ethnography. In: Atkinson, P. et al. ed. Handbook of Ethnography Sage Publications.

    Robben A.C.G.M. and Sluka J.A. (2012) Ethnographic Fieldwork : An Anthropological Reader Malden, MA : Wiley-Blackwell, c2012; 2nd ed.

    Rock P. (2001) Symbolic Interactionism and Ethnography. In: Atkinson P. et al. ed. Handbook of Ethnography. Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications, pp. 26-38.

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