The Perry Castañeda Library (PCL), the central library on the University of Texas at Austin campus, incorporates 70 miles (2.5 million books) of stacks within its complex geometric architecture. The semi-circular arrangement often leads inexperienced library patrons and experienced staff members in circles when attempting to find books and study rooms.
User Journey Map of Checking out a Book at the PCL
For this project, our team decided to improve the user experience of navigating complex library spaces like the PCL through design of a mobile interface to assist users in finding library materials and locations.
Our project goals were to integrate physical affordances of the bookshelf with a mobile application and increase spatial awareness in the library setting. We designed the app prototype with iBeacon technology in mind as the mechanism to trigger contextual actions based off of the user’s proximity to guide our user research and design.
This project was completed for a course in Interaction Design taken at the UT School of Information.
I worked collaboratively on a four-woman team to perform the user research and create the design for Libro. This was a very positive working experience, in which all team members brought creative ideas, synergistic efforts and hard work throughout the project.
My primary responsibilities for the project included: generating the initial concept based off of my experience as UX Graduate Research Assistant for UT Libraries in their tech innovation office.
I conducted research through survey, interviews (intercept, in-depth, subject-expert), contextual inquiry, competitive evaluation, and exploration of iBeacon technology, I developed, implemented and conducted in-person and remote user test sessions. I created initial app sketches and developed the app task flow with my team mates, I created the site mood board, and designed the hi-fidelity app tutorial pages.
For this project, the team created a mobile app prototype designed for iOS, a presentation documenting our process, and a final product demo video.
This video demo displays myself and a classmate Logan looking for the same book at the PCL. Logan is using the Libro app, while I am searching for the book using the library catalog and finding aids.
The video provides a side-by-side comparison that shows how Libro streamlines the process of catalog search, navigation, and checkout for books.
Mobile App Prototype
Click here to view the interactive prototype of Libro.
This presentation documents the full process the team used for the project including defining the concept, performing research, ideating, designing and testing.
Libro project members met with the web development team at UT Libraries to show the Libro app and presentation. The team was very interested in the project and is looking into purchasing Beacons to test in the library space
As a member of the UT Libraries web team, I am working on a separate (but related) project focused on improving the user experience of navigation in the PCL. This project focuses on designing an interactive map kiosk to display library locations and locations of classes and events.
Your hi-fi prototype is very strong and exceedingly well executed. In total, it is a very full featured representation of your design intent. I think you struck the right balance between visual fidelity and clean simplicity with all of your prototypes. They are attractive without being simplistic and do a strong job of presenting your functionality. Further, you defined a large set of useful functions quite fully and avoided the hand waving that often happens in the outer reaches of the flow diagram. It's all here, it works and it's all very impressive.
Like you document, your presentation offered an excellent exploration and discussion of your overall process. There was strong coverage of all aspects of your solution included research, strategy, ideation and design. The video was very well done and brought the value proposition of your solution into sharp focus. A great job!
There's only so much praise that I can fit into one of these things before you get bored and I have to pull out a thesaurus to find another synonym for excellent. In all phases, this was one of the most comprehensive efforts I have ever seen put forth in this class. Each and every aspect of the work and its presentation was exemplary. Most importantly, the erudition is reflect in your resulting artifacts. You have a lot to be proud of here. Congratulations on a great piece of work.