User Experience Design and Library Spaces: A Pathway for Innovation?


The latest issue of the Journal of Library Innovation features a research article by Dr. John A. McArthur and Valerie Johnson Graham (MA COM Class of 2014). The article – “User Experience Design and Library Space: A Pathway to Innovation” – uses user-experience design theory to reimagine the ways libraries might approach their physical spaces. The abstract reads:

Libraries have responded to the rapid change in communication and information technology by developing an understanding of how their clienteles perceive and plan to use libraries in the 21st century. This article positions user-experience design and specifically Don Norman’s ideas about behavioral, cognitive, and reflective responses of consumers to products as a pathway for libraries to innovate through spatial design and behavioral practices. After a brief introduction to experience design, this study connects Norman’s design levels to emerging trends and innovations in library spaces.

library-innovation (700x525)Graham is a 2014 graduate of the master of arts in communication program at the James L. Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte.  She currently serves as an enrollment officer at Wingate University. Dr. McArthur is an associate professor of communication in the James L. Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte. His current research examines proxemics and the impacts of digital technology on human communication.

Readers can gain full access to the journal article in the Journal of Library Innovation here.

One comment

  1. Queens University of Charlotte also featured this publication in the following article posted on the university website:

    02/09/16 –
    Dr. John A. McArthur, associate professor at Queens Knight School of Communication, and Valerie J. Graham ’14, recently had collaborative research published in the Journal of Library Innovation. Their article examines the design of physical spaces for digital-age libraries with user experience principles in mind.

    McArthur explained, “One real issue for libraries today lies in the quest to stay relevant in a quickly-changing digital world. Many libraries are choosing to evolve toward an understanding of the library as an information hub that provides leadership in the community it serves. We believe that the physical design of library spaces can and should mirror this noteworthy evolution.”

    Their research derives from a graduate seminar at Queens. Graham, then a graduate student, brought her passion for libraries into McArthur’s course which focused on user-experience design in spaces. The seminar sparked preliminary research for the article. Graham’s master’s thesis delved even more deeply into the topic as a continuation of the Journal of Library Innovation article. Both student and professor note that their mutual interest in the topic kept them connected after Graham’s graduation from Queens.

    Their research joins crucial discourse on how the roles of libraries continue to shift and adapt to technology, and their application of theory offers innovative insight.

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