Report from Designing 4 Digital – A Library UX conference

This week I attended Designing For Digital, a new library UX conference held in Austin, TX.  The brainchild of Judy Siegel and Bonnie Tijerina, D4D aims to:

“educate and expose library and information professionals to colleagues working on user experience, discovery, design and usability projects inside and outside of libraries.”

Attendees, though small in number, came from both academic and public libraries across the US and Canada.  I had a wonderful experience connecting with librarians passionate about UX, getting hands-on training, and being inspired by really outstanding presentations.

The highlight for me was the Interaction Design workshop taught by Matt Franks, a professor at the Austin Center for Design.  When Franks said the workshop would be “hands-on” he really meant it – not 15 minutes into the workshop we were sent out into the real world to perform ethnographic interviews with strangers!  We then used that data to brainstorm and prototype a mobile phone app.  And at the end of the workshop we were sent out again to test our mockup with real people.  Terrifying! But by “doing it for real” we learned a memorable and powerful lesson about the importance of user testing.

I hope to be back at Designing For Digital next year!  You can check out conference posts on Twitter at #design4lib.

AT&T Conference Center in Austin

AT&T Conference Center in Austin

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