RUSA MARS Virtual Reference Discussion Planning Committee

Conference report for 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting, Dallas, TX

Discussion topic: “UX + VR FTW”

Courtney Greene, Head of Digital User Experience at Indiana University Libraries-Bloomington, opened the Virtual Reference Discussion Forum by describing general principles of designing for user experience and examining how those might apply to virtual reference. She emphasized the need to go beyond supposition and assumptions by gathering information from patrons through a variety of means including usability testing, focus groups, and web analytics. Greene also illustrated how her library used UX principles to create multiple IM widget access points for users and corresponding queues for library operators. Her presentation slides are available on Slideshare at Following Courtney’s presentation, there was a lengthy question and answer session that involved sharing of ideas and best practices.

A total of fifty-two people attended the session. Twenty-three of the attendees completed an evaluation form. The feedback was extremely positive, with many respondents expressing appreciation for Courtney’s enthusiasm and expertise. They expressed a strong desire to continue learning more about UX and its implications for VR.