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Re‐imagining the users' experience: An ethnographic approach to web usability and space design

Somaly Kim Wu (J. Murrey Atkins Library, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)
Donna Lanclos (J. Murrey Atkins Library, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 16 August 2011

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2449

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the process and work undertaken by the library anthropologist and the Usability Task Force (UTF) for reconfiguring the library's physical and virtual spaces to meet the educational needs and expectations of users, including students, faculty, and community patrons.

Design/methodology/approach

Through formal usability studies and ethnographic research, the paper describes the process and work undertaken by the library anthropologist and the UTF.

Findings

Through surveys, focus groups observation data were obtained about the current study and web habits of undergraduates and faculty.

Originality/value

This paper presents an ethnographic approach to policy development and implementation to re‐orient the physical and virtual library environments at a large research library. Libraries and library administrators will find value in the policies established and processes outlined for the development of user‐centered learning spaces.

Keywords

Citation

Kim Wu, S. and Lanclos, D. (2011), "Re‐imagining the users' experience: An ethnographic approach to web usability and space design", Reference Services Review, Vol. 39 No. 3, pp. 369-389. https://doi.org/10.1108/00907321111161386

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited