ALA Annual 2017 - Placing the User at the Center of Electronic Resources [panel session]

When:  Jun 25, 2017 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM (CT)

Please join the LITA/ALCTS Electronic Resources Management Interest Group for an engaging, innovative panel session on “Placing the User at the Center of Electronic Resources.” The session will include four presentations on strategies to improve how users access and use electronic resources, to apply user experience design to vendor relationships, and to contextualize eresources in web culture. The presentations will be followed by a moderated discussion and audience Q&A.

Speakers: Kelly Blanchat (Yale University), Lindsay Cronk (University of Rochester), Erin DeWitt Miller (University of North Texas), and Athena Hoeppner (University of Central Florida).

Moderators/Co-Chairs: Buddy Pennington (University of Missouri-Kansas City) and Michael Rodriguez (University of Connecticut)

Making a Better Electronic Resource with …Internet Culture?
Kelly Blanchat, E-Resources Support Librarian (Yale University)

Did your smartphone come with a user guide? Mine didn’t. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I picked up one of those tiny booklets. Increasingly we have grown accustomed to the visual cues and critical thinking required to get up and running with a new digital tool, app, or game. In part, this trend has been possible because the design – or user experience – built into everyday digital tools makes them readily accessible, in many cases more user-friendly than library electronic resources. Though a library’s e-resources serve a distinct purpose from everyday technology and therefore shouldn’t necessarily keep up with erratic trends, our users experience both worlds. This duality can make e-resources appear to be behind-the-times, poorly designed, and inherently confusing. Is there anything integral in internet culture that can help make e-resources more accessible and user-friendly, and less daunting?

UX vs. "Us vs. Them": Reconsidering Approaches to Vendor Relationships
Lindsay Cronk, Head of Collection Strategies (University of Rochester)

Too often, our conversations with vendors are limited to topics of cost and content. In the midst of such discussions, it can be challenging to remember why we are in negotiations in the first place- our users. What if we applied User Experience (UX) frameworks to these interactions? In this fifteen minute presentation, we will explore how deepening the conversation to talk about resources from a UX perspective can strengthen our relationships with vendors and our users, improving our collections in the process. Outlining practical approaches, the small victories along with the inevitable disappointments, and the ongoing benefits of UX in vendor negotiations, this brief presentation sets out to imagine library-vendor relationships in a new framework.

Get to Know Your Patrons through Usability Studies
Erin DeWitt Miller, Head, Media Library (University of North Texas)

Usability studies are useful tools for identifying design flaws in online resources – but they also provide insight into the people that use those online resources. They can help us understand into what our patrons need, how they look for information, and problems they encounter with library resources. Usability studies involving library resources can make it possible to identify user issues, plan instruction or training, develop online help pages or guides, make collection development decisions, and more. This year, two usability studies were conducted in the University of North Texas Libraries in order to better understand how our patrons use our e-book and online video platforms. This session will briefly cover these two studies and what we learned from them and will include tips on how to conduct practical usability studies at your own library, even if you are on a small budget with a limited amount of time!

Last But Not Least: UX of Linking and Content Delivery
Athena Hoeppner, Electronic Resources Librarian (University of Central Florida)

Of myriad aspects of the discovery ecosystem, the presence of an identifiable, functioning link to full content likely has the largest impact on user experience and overall satisfaction. The presenter will explore the UX of linking within the discovery and delivery ecosystem. She will review literature about linking and OpenURL and user behavior and preferences and discuss findings from the transition from SFX to Full Text Finder. She will conclude by discussing options for improving UX through link resolver setting, link labels, and other approaches to provide identifiable, predictable, working links to content.