Rather than fading in the age of the internet and digital media, libraries are taking on an even stronger role in community life.
As technology and automation are bringing about heightened risks of unemployment, there is a greater need for the library to help its community navigate social change. Technology is often a disruptive transition as markets seek labor reduction and cost savings through automation. Recent studies show that the failure to manage technology transitions or boosting innovation will actually “slow income growth, increase unemployment risk, and lead to fewer improvements in leisure, health, and longevity.”
Client Business & Product Goals
How can the library, as a community “third place”, smooth the disruption of technology and automation on its community? How can the library help improve patrons’ skills and help them find employment? How can it be a resource to prepare young people for a new labor market?
The role of providing free access to information and services for everyone is central to the mission and culture of the library. In an effort to expand the economic and social opportunities provided by digital technology to all its members, the local library desires to build a digitally inclusive community.
After taking in all the demographic information from our interviews and surveys, we did an affinity diagram to define what each user persona should exude. Once we figured that out, we were able to build two user personas of the ideal users that would be working with our app. This will allow us to concentrate on building the app for these specific users but will encompass the overwhelming majority of the users.
Taking into account the qualitative data we received from our interviews, and the quantitative data from our surveys and research, we were able to affinity diagram and arrive at multiple problem statements that we combined into one statement. This problem statement is “The career minded intellectual wants to connect with the community and grow career skills virtually through their local libraries resources in a warm and welcoming environment in order to move further in their career as well as learn about new industries.”
The Design Principles were taken from the qualitative and quantitative data from the interviews. These principles are what we used in the design process of the app. These principles encompass what our users expect and want from using our app.
This design artifact helped to keep me on track of what to deliver and what is expected from our users. It helps tell their story and helps to sell the story to the stakeholder of why we did certain things in the app. It adds a human side to the app and allows the stakeholder to empathize with our potential users. We could show the stakeholder the raw data to back up the decision but having something that is more visual than just data is easier for most to digest.
Each member of the team built out a different section of the app and tested on potential users to get feedback on what areas worked and what areas did not. This led the team to have a discussion on what each area should look like and how it should function. It was then decided which wire-framing kit to use and to start developing each section that we were assigned to do.
This is where the app started to come together. After everyone finished their layouts I went through and made sure that they followed the Wire-framing kit. Changed fonts, adjusted images and fixed simple layout mistakes.
Once I ran through all the wire-frames and fixed the errors, I then linked everything up and tested the prototype to make sure all worked on areas were accessible.
The test was conducted in a closed office without a moderator in the room. The participant was read to what they would be doing and was shown the home-screen and was asked what they thought of it. The moderator read the tasks to the participant and gave them a copy for their use. The moderator ensured the participant that they were not being tested but the app was and to not worry if they could not get through a task. The moderator setup the recording of the screen and of the participant and asked the participant to start going through the tasks and think out loud what was going through their mind while trying to complete the tasks.
The tasks asked of the participants were: