As Erin mentioned in her last post, I serve as the U.Va. Library’s User Experience Web Developer. But what exactly is a UX developer and how is the role different from a web designer, front-end developer, or generalist programmer?
Perhaps foremost, a User Experience Developer allows assessment to lead design. When we set out to create a new tool or feature, we don’t start with sketches or Photoshop documents or the like, but with surveys, focus groups, and user testing.
Libraries are well aware of the buzz words but are less sure of the organizational implications. This blog aims to share how a librarian and developer are collaborating to create a UX oriented culture at the University of Virginia Library. Our journey began with our new appointments earlier this year: me as User Experience Librarian and Joe as User Experience Developer.
What seems on the surface to be a team of two, is actually a community effort. We believe the user experience cannot live within or be the sole responsibility of one administrative unit. After all, how can a small team achieve our goal to “successfully connect with every student, staff and faculty member to help them feel productive, enthusiastic and valued on every level of their encounter”? Our efforts must be distributed making collaboration at the center of all our activities.
Key to the success of our UX efforts will be the ability to enact change, enhance the culture of assessment, and produce deliverables. Fortunately the Library has a lively and engaged assessment community made of up of public and technical services staff willing to help out at every turn. By coordinating assessment efforts, and developing communication strategies for the results, we as a staff can clearly understand the vision, put sustained effort into strategic areas, and improve efficiency by making confident choices.
Joe and I will blog about our projects, techniques, successes and challenges. We look forward to hearing your comments and insights.