User-Centered Environment

User-Centered Environment
1st Session: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 3:00-4:00 pm, Parlor (28 attendees)
2nd Session: Wednesday, Dec. 12, 10:00-11:00 am, Parlor (35 attendees)

Facilitated by Ava Nell Harris and Karen Hopkins

One Response to “User-Centered Environment”

  1. Derek Reece says:

    Exercise for each group:
    Create a paper aircraft.
    The aircraft should:
    1. Fly smoothly
    2. Fly straight
    3. Fly for a long distance

    How did you design your plane?
    Session 1:
    We looked it up on the internet and it was the first design that came up.
    We used expertise at the table.
    It was logical. We chose the color as a group.
    We just began folding and then tried them.

    Session 2:
    We just began folding paper and decided on the best.
    This one flew the longest.
    We tested all of them.
    We had multiple prototypes.
    [Most tables named their designs.]
    Why is it the best?

    Session 1:
    It worked, and the others didn’t.
    It fit three of the criteria.
    It was a unique design.
    We each tried ours, and this was the best.

    Session 2:
    It worked.
    It flies fast.
    It didn’t crash.

    Observations on both groups:
    The questions from participants during the design phase:
    1. One plane per table or one plane per person? [both sessions]
    2. Can we test fly in the atrium? [First session. Answer: No. You might hit a student.]
    3. I need scissors. [Second session. Answer: You have all you need.]

    The facilitators were not asked in either session if there was a preferred color, size, or design. The preferred aircraft for the first session was a crumbled up white paper ball. The preferred aircraft in the second session was a simple white paper airplane, and printed instructions were available for anyone who asked.

    • They worked well together, everyone seemed to be engaged.
    • Several groups would stand up and test each of their planes, but most groups tested the plane while they were sitting.
    • Groups in both sessions agreed they made assumptions, and did not think of asking if there were more criteria.
    • One person said they were “lulled” into a “false understanding” of what was expected.
    • Several people mentioned that the vocabulary used led them to assume they needed no more information. We discussed the importance of both customer and service provider understanding exactly what was being said.
    • One person indicated they did not think there was a “customer” for the aircraft.
    During the past few weeks, what have you learned about our users that may have surprised you?

    Session 1:
    • How well the “dog thing” went with the students
    • Adults love chocolate more than kids (the chocolate fountain at the Friend’s Christmas event)
    • How many students were using multiple devises at the same time
    • The number of students who liked being asked to participate in the task force activities
    • The increase of energy in the library since Becca has come
    • We should not make assumptions about what people should know
    • Students are creating Facebook pages for their study groups and classes
    • People come into the library with emotional attachments to the information they need
    • Most students at SEL were working in groups
    • Discovered from the GPS activity: the frustrations of transfer students are numerous. Most services are aimed at freshmen or other types of students.
    • People appear to congregate in the same areas throughout the day.
    • There are many people who do not have the “assassination complex” and do not need to have something solid behind their back in an open area
    • Students are most trusting for the Where’s Waldo activity than was expected.

    Session 2:
    • Widespread presence of textbooks, often with a computer
    • Number of people with graphing calculators in late might floor counts
    • How much group study was really independent study; the group was for moral support (communal studying)
    • There is a learning curve for the smart boards – some still wanted the simple white boards
    • People using phone booth with a cell phone
    • How many people overnight were working (so few sleeping)
    • Anywhere could be a study space – proximity to electrical more important than furniture
    • Increased use of Apple laptops
    • How few questions came to service points during finals while the library was crowded
    • Some students prefer low tech: sometimes simple is better
    • Many were multi-tasking, using cell phone and PC, playing cards and working at the same time: related to multi-sensory learning
    • Sometimes when given the option to play, they chose to study and moved the games out of the way
    • They bring blankets and pillows
    • Heavy use of study carrels
    • Many students say they are distracted at home when trying to study, yet they want to make the library more like home
    • Students use basement because there is no cell phone coverage, so they have fewer distractions