Conference Speakers

The Future of UX in Libraries: Learning Everywhere

What does a user-focused, human-centered library as classroom look like? Emerging technologies are changing the way we live and learn and libraries can play a key role in this future. Imagine the emerging hyperlinked library as a creation space, community space, anything space. Imagine this library available everywhere via mobile devices and tablets. How will services change? What skills will staff require? What does this future look like going forward as we encourage learning everywhere as a means for transformative change for ourselves and our users?

Dr. Michael Stephens is Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University. He was the 2009 CAVAL Visiting Scholar in Australia, consulted and presented for US Embassies in Germany, Switzerland, and Turkey, and presents to both national and international audiences about emerging technologies, learning, innovation, and libraries. Since 2010, Dr. Stephens has written the monthly column “Office Hours” for Library Journal exploring the issues, ideas, and emerging trends in library and information science education. To review Dr. Stephen’s archive of work, visit his Tame the Web website and blog.

10:00 AM Eastern Time (United States & Canada)

Improving Your Library with User Experience Design

Design is more than choosing pretty colors. It's all about solving problems and even if you don't know it, you are a designer. Schmidt will introduce the concept of User Experience (UX) thinking and illustrate how it can help improve your website, programs, services, and more. After this presentation you'll have a keener critical eye, and a framework with which you can make your library the most important place in your community.

Aaron Schmidt, in the past ten years, has been a circulation clerk, reference librarian, and library director. Currently he is a principal at Influx Library User Experience Consulting, is a lecturer for the San Jose School of Library and Information Science, and is a columnist for Library Journal. Recent projects include researching the future of summer reading programs for the Public Library Association, and organizing and facilitating a "Library Innovation Exchange" with library organizations in Mexico City.


11:00 AM Eastern Time (United States & Canada)

Practical UX Research Tips for Librarians

Knowing about your patrons is the key to creating great user experiences. What are library users trying to accomplish, and how do they understand--or misunderstand--what the library offers? UX research can include everything from usability testing and user interviews to web analytics analysis and A/B testing. This overview of user experience research methods will explain which techniques are best suited for different situations, and include advice and examples of how to analyze your findings and organize your results into meaningful, actionable formats.

Kathryn Whitenton, User Experience Specialist at the Nielsen Norman Group, works with clients to evaluate the usability and information architecture of websites in a variety of industries including health care, media, technology, and telecommunications, as well as corporate intranets. She has conducted usability research, eyetracking user research, and studies of users on mobile devices in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Her user studies have included general audiences as well as specific consumer types, business segments, children, and seniors. She is based in Denver, Colorado. She obtained a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington.

12:00 PM Eastern Time (United States & Canada)

Designing Your Spaces, Services, and Organization Around Your Users

How can you uncover and understand your users’ needs and then create actionable insights? How can these insights enable a user-centered design for your spaces, the services you offer within them, and the way you organize your staff to provide those services? This session will answer these questions in four parts: first, we’ll make the case for user experience as the basis for an integrated design by covering key trends in the how learning and research. Next, we’ll review the mindset and skillset needed for user-centered design. Then, we’ll provide an overview of design tools; for example Finally, we’ll offer some tactical advice on how to apply these tools using case studies from BrightSpot's work such as the NC State Hunt Library. This session will provide engagement in each of these sections and highlightlessons learned that can be applied immediately to renew your spaces, services, and organization.

Elliot Felix is Founder and Director of BrightSpot Strategy. He is an accomplished strategist, expert facilitator, and gifted sense-maker, able to understand the most complex of problems through both creative and analytical means. He has directed projects for leading companies, non-profits, cultural institutions, colleges, and universities such as Carnegie Mellon University, NC State University, New York University, Google, SFMOMA, and the Smithsonian Institution. Solving space, operational, and organizational problems gets him up in the morning. Thinking about the future and learning keeps him up late.

2:00 PM Eastern Time (United States & Canada)

Make Your Website UX Rock

Your library website visitors are having a user experience (UX) on your website right now. Do you know if it’s a good experience? Have you ever asked? And how can you improve it? This presentation will help make your website UX rock by providing easy-to-implement tips and tools to improve the experience your customers have while using your library’s website.

David Lee King is the Digital Services Director at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, where he plans, implements, and experiments with emerging technology trends. He speaks internationally about emerging trends, website management, digital experience, and social media, and has been published in many library-related journals. David was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker for 2008. His newest book is Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections. David blogs at

3:00 PM Eastern Time (United States & Canada)