Don’t Miss “The User Experience”

Aaron Schmidt has debuted a new column in Library Journal called “The User Experience.”

The opening is wonderful:

The importance of user experience (UX) dawned on me one day when a patron asked to use the stapler kept in a drawer behind the reference desk.

It wasn’t the first time anyone had asked to use the stapler—it wasn’t even the first time that day. Considering it a bit more, I realized that it happened all of the time. Suddenly, I couldn’t imagine what the stapler was doing in the drawer in the first place. I liberated the stapler from its usual spot and placed it within easy reach of both the librarian on duty and the patrons approaching the desk. Though this was a small gesture, it altered the design of the library to provide a better experience for its users and relieved librarians of having to reach repeatedly into the drawer.

Where is your stapler at your library? Or that three hole punch? What else could you liberate and offer to your users so they might stick around longer and use the library more? Could you even imagine a library where folks missing the user-centered focus might want to keep such things under lock and key to dissuade use?

I’m excited to follow along with Aaron and his thinking in future columns.