UXLibsVI Workshops

We are excited to reveal the content of this year’s interactive conference workshops which, as ever, will be led by a talented range of facilitators curated from around the world. Nearer the time attendees will  choose to attend two of the six workshops detailed below.

Note: These workshops take place during the conference, are included in the conference fee, and are separate to the two pre-conference workshops led by Andy Priestner and Magalie Le Gall/Maud Puaud.

Workshop 1: From Accessibility to Universal Design: equality in access
Workshop Leader:
Marie Engberg Eiriksson (Denmark)
Description: Marie’s workshop will cover the basic ideas of Universal Design and how these can be interpreted in a library context. Attendees will explore the barriers in libraries faced by persons living with sensory, mental or physical disabilities and leave with ideas and tools to take steps towards a universally equal library service.
About Marie: Marie Engberg Eiriksson is a librarian at heart. She has worked in public libraries for the last ten years, with accessible library services and communication. She is Information Coordinator of IFLA Library Services to People with Special Needs and a board member at accessible formats publishing house NDL. She writes and presents on accessible library services/formats and is studying for a masters in Universal Design and Accessibility while also working as a freelance library consultant. She co-created the crowdsourced travel guide to libraries: LibraryPlanet.

Workshop 2: Gamestorming (your) culture
Workshop Leader:
Victor Alfson (Sweden)
Description: Victor’s workshop will use games to help attendees visualise organisational culture, prompting the unlocking of new thoughts, directions and perspectives. The games will help those present to move beyond the clichés and the superficial when trying to identify the cultural pros and cons of their organisations.
About Victor: Curiosity might kill a cat, but what else should you use nine lives for? A librarian at Stockholm City Library who loves to experiment with UX methodology, whether it’s using VR to theoretically rebuild a library or employing board games to discover user needs. Currently trying his hand at facilitating UX as deputy manager in the north-western boroughs of Stockholm.

Workshop 3: Sorry. Not Sorry: identifying, quantifying, and revolutionising crappy workplace cultures
Workshop Leader:
Ange Fitzpatrick (UK)
Description: Ange’s workshop will guide attendees in utilising UX, EQ and design thinking techniques to assess the culture of organisations, departments, and teams.  You’ll learn how to recognise positive cultures in other industries and import them into your workplace and to identify the areas where your own workplace culture might be ripe for change.
About Ange: Ange is a whole 2cm shorter than Kylie Minogue, but she’s never let that get her down. A UXLibs vet, she has told you where lunch is, where the loos are, and now, is hoping to show you a few things about UX and organisational culture. Ange is an occasional stand-up comedian and a regular business librarian. She’s been in an ‘it’s complicated’ relationship with the University of Cambridge for most of the last millennium, so she knows a thing or two about making change happen.

Workshop 4: The Hot Air Balloon method: identifying strengths, weaknesses and other key factors in your organisation’s UX journey
Workshop Leader: Kitte Dahrén (Sweden)
Description: Kitte’s workshop, intended for people who have worked with UX for some time, will lead attendees through the ‘Hot Air Balloon’ method in order to reflect on their organisations UX journey, identifying strengths, weaknesses and external forces as well as the steps needed to reach their ‘Paradise Island’.
About Kitte: Kitte works as UX coordinator and librarian at SLU University Library, Sweden. She also coordinates the library’s strategic communication and is a part of the web development team. As team leader she makes sure that the library has a systematic approach to embed UX and bring the user’s perspective into focus for all library staff. She is passionate about workshop facilitation and nurturing a culture of co-creation. She was one of the driving forces in making UX an integral part of the library’s strategic plan for 2017-2020.

Workshop 5: UX methods for developing organisational culture
Workshop Leader:
Carl Barrow (UK)
Description: Carl’s workshop will look at which UX methodologies to use to understand and develop the culture of your organisation. Attendees will also explore how to analyse the organisational data they gather and how to deal with the sensitive and often uncomfortable information uncovered.
About Carl: As an Operations Manager at the Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull, Carl has been responsible for customer engagement, events & exhibitions, as well as marketing & digital. The role has provided him with an opportunity to use his complementary knowledge of Library and IT Services to ensure that customers inform service design and development. He has presented at UXLibs on three previous occasions.

Workshop 6: Level Up: Using Design Thinking to advance UX maturity
Workshop Leader:
Lindsey Sprague (USA)
Description: Lindsey’s workshop will expose attendees to design thinking activities intended to help them identify and focus on the most critical barriers to advancing UX efforts in their libraries. Once the barriers are identified, attendees will ideate a variety of ways to move beyond them with a view to advancing UX maturity in their organisation.
About Lindsey: Lindsey is a Design Thinking Strategist working in the private sector for Duke Energy Corporation. She was formerly UX Librarian at the J. Murrey Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte where she coordinated a comprehensive assessment program that included quantitative, qualitative, and usability practices.

UXLibsIV – Workshops

In addition to the pre-conference workshop presented by Andy Priestner and Matt Borg, there will be 5 workshops presented during the conference proper on Day 1 by (from left to right above): Bryony Ramsden, John Jung, Eva Jirjahlke, Carl Barrow, Shelley Gullikson. Delegates will be able to attend 2 of these workshops (we will ask for your selections next month). The workshop titles, summaries and anticipated learning outcomes are as follows.


Workshop 1: Bryony Ramsden (UXLibsIV committee member from the University of Huddersfield, currently concluding a UX-related PhD)

Title: Daunted by data? An introduction to analysing qualitative data

Summary: Collecting data with your new-found UX techniques is all well and good, but what do you do with the data once you have it? Data analysis can be an intimidating process, particularly if it is a long time since you qualified, or if your education didn’t cover research methods or data analysis. This workshop will introduce some basic manual techniques to help you get started on analysing qualitative data, covering how to code data and organise findings thematically. You will also have the opportunity to put these techniques into practice by analysing and organising some sample data. Attendees will be provided with some UX data to work with.

Learning Outcomes: Attendees will learn the different ways of analysing qualitative data (manually or using computer software (CAQDAS)); how to manually code data; organising codes into themes; the pros and cons of collaborating to analyse data; the challenges of dealing with large sets of data.


Workshop 2: John Jung (Programmer and design thinking expert, University of Chicago)

Title: Speculative Design: Design as Conversation

Summary: So often, designers work to create products that are sleek or interfaces that are easy to use. The underlying values behind this kind of work are often highly commercial – the goal of design is to encourage consumerism. Speculative design offers an alternative. If you are familiar with television programs like Black Mirror, Westworld, or Humans, you are already familiar with some elements of speculative design- the thought-provoking narratives in these shows are designed to spark conversation around current technical and social topics. Designers doing speculative design projects are using design as a way to ask questions and facilitate conversations around challenging topics. At their best they are using design to incorporate diverse perspectives around possible, shared futures.
In this workshop we will look at some examples of speculative design and we will participate in an activity inspired by speculative design. All the while the workshop will be a chance to ask, “How might techniques like these help facilitate conversations about inclusivity? How might they be useful in libraries?”  These projects incorporate objects, narratives, games, and more- so workshop participants who are interested in the creative aspects of art, writing, and design may find speculative design especially inspiring.
Additionally, because speculative design is so often incorporated into design workshops, participants who create UX workshops and activities for end users will find useful material here as well. These projects experiment with ways to create engaging workshop experiences. They offer a huge range of approaches to borrow from or build upon.
All are welcome, and no prior knowledge of speculative design is required.  People with diverse backgrounds, and who bring diverse perspectives, are especially invited to participate. Let’s have a conversation about speculative design.
Learning Outcomes: Participants will: become familiar with speculative design as an area of practice; experience a workshop activity inspired by speculative design; reflect on possibilities for speculative design in libraries, as a group; receive a list of secondary resources to explore this topic further.

Workshop 3: Eva Jirjahlke (User Researcher, Citizens Advice, London)

Title: Challenge accepted: how to solve a UX problem

Summary: By now you have done some user research and have identified a few problems that disrupt your users’ experience. But how do you best solve them? How do you make sure you’re solving “the right thing”? And what do you do about those stakeholders who think they already know what the right solution needs to look like? Find out how to tackle a problem and rapidly prototype ideas to solve it in this interactive workshop.

During the workshop we’ll be thinking about:

  • User needs: What needs are you trying to meet with your product or service?
  • User goals: What are the users trying to achieve?
  • Constraints: What are the constraints (budget, user behaviour, stakeholders) we might need to consider while designing our product or service?
  • Context: Where and when are users using your product or service?

Learning Outcomes: By the end of the workshop you will know how to: approach and break down a problem; rapidly prototype your ideas and consolidate them into a solution; communicate your ideas. You’ll get the opportunity to explain the problem and your solution to the group which will help you think about how you might sell it to your stakeholders later on. …And of course have fun while doing it.


Workshop 4: Carl Barrow (Student Engagement Manager, University of Hull, UK)

Title: A collision of two worlds

Summary: We live in two worlds, the physical and the digital. Most of us possess hand held devices that move us between those worlds. We can travel the globe with our friends and colleges without even leaving our homes or offices, we can be part of their experiences and they part of ours.  We hear what they hear and see what they see, we interact with and enhance their experiences.  We transition between these worlds with ease, and are even present in both simultaneously as they layer up and collide. This is also true for our library users.  Our knowledge and understanding of how they use and experience technology, alongside that of their behaviours and feelings is an integral element of service and space development.

The workshop will introduce two UX methods:

  • A digital day diary
  • A cognitive map

And along with group discussion, help participants reflect on their own practices and the positive and negative impact that technology and electronic devices have on their lives. We will consider how these tools can be used to gain a deeper insight into the behaviours of our library users and the impact that technology has.  We will also consider how, by cross-referencing with other data sets and other UX methods we can build insightful user stories to inform the decisions we make,  allowing us to deliver our services with the right entry points and our worlds collided.

Learning Outcomes: Attendees will: reflect on their own UX research activities; consider the impact of technology on user experience; learn how to conduct cognitive mapping and diary study research effectively; learn how to build user stories to inform decision making.


Workshop 5: Shelley Gullikson (Systems Librarian, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada)

Title: The Path of Some Resistance: Adding Useful Friction to Library UX

Summary: Much of our work in library UX involves trying to create a smoother user experience. Our users are too often slowed down by the unnecessary friction of our overly complicated processes. They chafe against wordy and jargon-filled websites. They struggle to navigate spaces with overwhelming and unhelpful signage.  Sometimes it seems like there is an unending amount of friction to remove in our libraries.

However, there are times when friction can actually be a good thing. A bit of friction added to a process can slow down users at the right moment. Think of the false alert of a missile attack in Hawaii earlier this year. A bit of extra friction in the interface design of the notification system might have prevented it. Your users won’t ever make an error this enormous in your library, but still, there are times when you might want to shift them out of autopilot and have them pause.

Many of our processes don’t require that pause, but it may be that what seems to be a smooth UX isn’t smooth at all for certain groups of users; a little design friction may help create a more inclusive user experience. You also might use friction to slow down your staff in order to improve things for your users. Finally, friction can also be beneficial not just in UX design, but in your user research.

This workshop will help you explore where adding a little friction could help improve the user experience in your library.

Learning Outcomes: Attendees will: understand how friction can be useful in both online and physical UX; explore useful friction in library UX by rethinking current services, workflows, and spaces; explore improvements to inclusion in libraries by adding friction; explore appropriate situations and techniques for adding friction to user research.