The 5th annual international User Experience in Libraries conference, or UXLibsV, will take place at Royal Holloway, University of London, on 17-19 June 2019. This year’s theme is ‘From Research to Design’ (see below for more details).
If you are interested in, or engaged in implementing, UX research and design and uncovering the needs and behaviour of your users then this is the conference for you.
DATES / START AND FINISH TIMES
The event will start on the afternoon of Monday 17 June with an optional pre-conference workshop followed by delegate registration from 6pm and an evening meal and pub quiz. The conference will finish on Wednesday 19 June at 5pm.
This year you will not need to book accommodation separately as the overall fee of £550 (plus VAT) will include it. This price breaks down as follows:
- £375: conference fee (unchanged from last year) – including all conference sessions and lunches on Tues 18 and Weds 19 June, and the Gala Dinner on the evening of 18 June
- £175: 2 nights’ bed-and-breakfast accommodation (individual en-suite bedrooms, check in Mon 17 June) at Royal Holloway, and evening meal on 17 June
Please note our cancellation policy.
This year we are offering three sponsored places, one of which is reserved for a BME delegate. Further details and how to apply are provided on our Sponsored Places page.
PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP (17 June)
We will be offering an optional pre-conference half-day workshop to conference delegates. Led by Andy Priestner, the workshop will cover moving from UX research data, to ideas, to design. It will take place between 1pm and 5pm on Monday 17 June, ending just ahead of the start of conference registration at 6pm. This workshop will be offered at £75 +VAT per person, and can be added to your booking by selecting the appropriate option on the booking form. Places are limited, so will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
THIS YEAR’S THEME
This year’s conference theme is ‘From Research to Design’: putting UX data into action in the form of prototypes and pilots for testing. Research data should not be the end point of the UX journey, but all too often we only get as far as a findings report or a committee who may appreciate the results but choose to do nothing concrete in response. UX is as much about design as it is about researching, it’s about a process that continues to involve the user as ideas are iterated upon in response to their feedback. Research should always lead to the design of new user-centred policies, products or services that will better engage and support your users. Crucially this needs to be done at a speed which is often at odds with our hierarchical and committee-driven institutions. It is challenging, but it is exciting and it really works.
We are thrilled to announce this year’s two keynote speakers who hail from Sweden and the USA respectively: Anneli Friberg and Suzanne Chapman…
Anneli Friberg (@fribban)
Anneli is the Head of Department for Publishing Infrastructure at Linkoping University Library, Sweden. She is experienced in both higher education and public libraries. UX has been part of her daily work for the past five years, on both a strategic and practical level. Anneli has extensive experience with usability testing along with ethnographic user research and is constantly advocating and practicing user-centred methods to make improvements. She is passionate about adding value for users, co-workers and the organization as a whole.
Anneli has attended UXLibs on several previous occasions. In 2015 she attended our very first conference and in 2017 she sat on our panel of experts and led a user journey mapping workshop with fellow Swedish UX practitioner Anna Kagedal.
Suzanne Chapman (@LibraryUX)
Suzanne is a UX Generalist who loves all aspects of user research, design, and content strategy but is especially passionate about inclusive design (because good design is design that works for everyone), untangling any kind of mess, and doing work worth doing. She spent the first half of her career proselytizing and establishing UX programs at academic libraries. She then moved into the world of civic design by joining the the United States Digital Service (a tech startup at the White House founded by President Obama) where she lead UX strategy, user research, content, and design for a large-scale digital modernization effort at the Department of Veterans Affairs. She currently works for the Center for Civic Design where she’s helping to create a better U.S. election / voter experience through research and design.
Suzanne, like Anneli, attended the very first UXLibs and was part of the team which won our very first team challenge.
This year’s plenary speaker will be helping us to explore the experience of libraries by neurodiverse users. Their chapter on this topic was regarded as one of the highlights of the UX in Libraries book published by Routledge in 2016. We are very pleased to welcome Penny Andrews to UXLibsV…
Penny Andrews (@pennyb)
Penny Andrews is a writer, consultant, activist and academic researcher in information, media and communication. In the past, they researched and published on autistic students transitioning into higher education and they continue to support and mentor undergraduate and taught postgraduate students with autism spectrum and related conditions. Penny has been interviewed by the Guardian, ITV and BBC Radio 4 amongst others about autism, though mostly they would rather talk about Doctor Who, pop culture, politics, fandom and Ed Balls. They will draw on personal experience and their own and others’ research to help us to understand neurodiverse students and their experience of libraries and library services.
This year we are actively seeking to ensure that our speakers reflect our profession. We are therefore aiming to deliver a programme of which no more than a third of our speakers identify as male. We are also keen to amplify speakers of colour and minority voices.
PROGRAMME, USEFUL INFORMATION & OUR SPONSORS
This year our workshop leaders hail from the USA, France, Sweden, Australia and the UK. As ever our workshops promise to be interactive and inspiring in equal measure. Find out more below…
Kristin Meyer (@11kmeyer) (USA)
Kristin is User Experience Librarian at Grand State Valley University in Michigan. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP), speaker and consultant.
‘From Insight to Action with Appreciative Inquiry’: After identifying insights from user research, it can be challenging to turn those insights into action in your library. Pulling together a diverse group of stakeholders for ideation and prototyping can be key. Broadly defined, Appreciative Inquiry is an approach to organizational change; incorporating elements of Appreciative Inquiry within the facilitation process can help lead groups to UX improvements in a generative way that promotes buy-in and support. In this workshop, you’ll participate in a lightning round of Appreciative Inquiry-style facilitation, preparing you to lead this kind of facilitation in the future. Specifically, you’ll experience the Appreciative Inquiry practices of connecting to purpose, naming and flipping, dreaming about the ideal state, and generative prototyping—all of which complement other techniques commonly practiced in the UX discipline and can help provide positive momentum for UX solutions.
Magalie Le Gall (@magalielegall) and Maud Puaud (@mpuaud) (France)
Magalie is a librarian at the Sorbonne in Paris, while Maud is Head of Skills Development at the University of Angers Library.
‘Why sketching can help you to implement UX techniques in your library’: Whether you think you can draw or not you will be able to participate to this workshop. You don’t need to be good at drawing to use sketching for UX methods in your library. You just need to know how to hold a pencil and if your drawing skills are limited to smileys and stick figures, it’s OK! Pictures tell us stories (just like UX methods do). Pictures can speak more powerfully than words, sometimes they express thing that words can’t. So they facilitate recording and understanding, increase memorisation, foster empathy, and allow to obtain engagement and attention: making it an ideal tool for UX design. In this practical workshop you will learn how to use one or two visual techniques to translate a user story in pictures. Just come with your pen and your brain!
Helen Murphy (@lemurph) (UK)
Helen Murphy is Assistant Librarian at the English Faculty Library at the University of Cambridge and is currently serving on the UXLibs committee.
‘Can UX make us better teachers?’:Talk about starting with a loaded question. As library workers, many of us will identify as teachers or instructors. This might entail everything from running extensive teaching programmes through to simple everyday interactions, like helping the library user work the catalogue or track down an article they need. In this workshop we are going to explore what is lurking in the overlap between UX and teaching. We’re going to think about whether applying UX methods in our teaching can make our assessment better. We’ll consider how we might use UX methods to better understand our users’ information and digital practices, and how we might design the kinds of teaching interventions that might help. And we’ll reflect upon the tensions – if there are any – between the principles of good UX, and the principles of good pedagogy.
Ingela Wahlgren (@Ingyplingy) (Sweden)
Ingela (a former winner of the UXLibs Best Paper Award) is a librarian and web coordinator at SLU University, Sweden.
‘Embedding with empathy’: When we use UX methods to improve our services, it is often at the design, or implementation, stage that our library colleagues that haven’t been involved in the UX work speak up and are worried, concerned or even angry. As staff involved in UX work, it is tempting to just roll our eyes and think “this is annoying”, but at the end of the day, enough resistance among your colleagues might make your design idea impossible to actually implement (or it is dismantled as soon as you go on holiday). What can we do to get real buy-in from our co-workers, so that change and development through UX can be embraced and truly embedded in our organisations? This workshop aims to explore how we can use empathy, which is at the very core of UX work, together with neuroscience to better understand our colleagues and their needs and how to meet those needs in times of change.
Vernon Fowler (@vfowler) (Australia)
Vernon is Digital User Experience Manager at the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne.
‘Digital prototyping’: A growing challenge facing libraries is serving community needs with scant resources. Study spaces are in demand, and despite many patrons bringing their own devices, they continue to utilise library computers too. Research reveal that users struggle to make bookings for library resources, now and in the future. In this workshop we’ll generate a few ideas to address these problems before crafting paper prototypes. Then we’ll digitise them and connect them into multistate interaction flows, ready to share with stakeholders. We’ll cover how to test prototypes with users and incorporate their feedback. When we apply what we learn from user research, we can design compelling future experiences.
Danielle Cooper (@dm_cooper) (USA)
Danielle is Senior Researcher of information practices in higher education and cultural organisations for Ithaka S+R.
‘Getting What You Want: Advanced Interview Techniques for UX Researchers’: Getting the most out of qualitative UX inquiry hinges as much on how you carry out the research engagement as how you designed the methodology. Interviewing is a foundational method in UX research and its ubiquity warrants especial attention to mastery. This workshop is designed to take UX researchers’ interviewing to the next level by focusing on its technical elements. The session will explore advanced components of the interview including, crafting the interviewer persona, probing effectively, and managing power dynamics. Attendees will have the opportunity to take a self-inventory of their interviewing skill set, practice their techniques and have their interviewing evaluated by a peer.
CALL FOR PAPERS
The Call for Papers for UXLibs5 is still open (until 8 February)!
What are they?
These presentations are an integral aspect of the conference and offer delegates an opportunity to showcase and summarise projects or initiatives from their home institutions. As well as detailing their methodology and the techniques and processes employed, these sessions are intended to highlight successes and failures, and user reactions to new services, spaces, policies and products.
This year’s theme
This year, in keeping with the ‘from research to design’ theme, we are particularly (but not exclusively) keen to hear about those services you have prototyped and/or tested:
- How were they received?
- How did you iterate in response to user feedback?
- Did you adopt co-design principles? How did you make sure that users were central to the design process?
- Did your prototype solve the problem you had identified in the data?
- Did your prototype develop in an unexpected direction into a totally different service?
- Or more broadly, what challenges and insights did you experience and uncover as you moved from research data into a design process?
Papers on other themes
We are also happy to receive paper proposals about any aspect of UX research and design: recruitment, techniques, advocacy, ethics, inclusivity, strategy, embedding etc. Our delegates are often at different stages of the UX journey and have very different interests, so it’s important that we curate a range of papers accordingly. As last year, we will offer different subject tracks to suit this diversity of interests.
Anticipated/planned UX research
Your paper may be about work you anticipate conducting between now and the conference. This is absolutely fine. It is also ok if your paper ends up diverging somewhat from your initial abstract. A good UX research and design process often sees the researcher end up at an entirely different destination!
What is the process?
Paper proposals are due by Friday 8 February. Once this deadline has passed we will follow a blind peer review process and will let you know if you have been successful by Friday 22 February. You will have 20 minutes in which to present your paper at the conference and will be speaking to around a quarter of delegates (40-50 people) as these sessions will run in parallel to each other. You will receive a 10% discount on the core delegate rate (not including accommodation) in recognition of your contribution. If the paper is going to be co-presented then the 10% discount will be split between you and the other presenter. If we produce a third (2019) yearbook, you will be invited to write up your paper for subsequent publication. N.B. Prior to the conference, use of the word ‘paper’ does not mean you will need to provide an academic written paper, we are simply referring to your eventual presentation.
Best paper prize
Once again, we will be presenting a prize for the best conference paper (a free place at next year’s conference), won last year by Claire Browne.
We are often asked what factors will influence papers being selected. Some advice follows:
- Make it clear what UX techniques and processes have been followed and ensure your paper is actually about user experience research and design.
- We see UX as about engaging with users more deeply and meaningfully than you can through surveys. In fact, some of us see the default survey as the antithesis to good UX. If your paper is simply about a survey you have conducted it probably won’t get through.
- Write your abstract engagingly. Reviewers read many submissions so make it easy for them by having your proposal stand out, excite and interest them.
- Bear in mind that UXLibs is quite an informal and friendly conference – this doesn’t mean that we are not interested in research rigour and due process, but if your paper is dry and overly academic it may not be the best fit for our conference.
- Finally, follow ALL the requirements set out below.
- A presentation title.
- An abstract of no more than 300 words.
- A brief summary of no more than 50 words.
- A brief biography (of each author) of no more than 50 words.
- Your email address.
- Learning outcomes for attendees.
- Submit (preferably as a Word document) by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 8 February 2019.
- Papers may be co-presented but by no more than two people (additional named co-authors are fine, but only a maximum of two can actually present at the conference – please indicate who this will be if applicable).
Please feel free to contact conference chair Andy Priestner on email@example.com if you want to discuss any aspect of this year’s Call for Papers. Good luck!
CODE OF CONDUCT
Once again we will be following a conference code of conduct to ensure that everyone attending UXLibs feels welcome, accepted and safe throughout.
The 2018 Yearbook with contributions from Sara Leren, Christian Lauersen, Janine Bradbury and Kit Heyam has now been published. The first UXLibs Yearbook is also still available, collecting all the keynotes (Meredith Evans, Matthew Reidsma), workshops and papers from our 2017 conference. See our Books page for details.
We do hope to see you in London and will be sharing a draft programme and further information in the coming weeks.
Andy, Bryony, Helen
The UX in Libraries Committee