Tech for Better Lives

The Brief

To design a product that will strengthen the library’s relationship with the community it serves, specifically targeting people entering the workforce or looking to change job sectors.

The Biggest Challenge

Although the brief directed us to target job seekers and career changers specifically, our user and SME interviews didn’t actually back this up. Through affinity mapping we identified a different problem needing to be solved: awareness of and access to free events in the community.

The Final Product

A website focusing on events happening in local libraries, with the ability to search and book places in talks and classes.

The Key Lessons

This project gave me an opportunity to work within a remote design team. This was really interesting in terms of group and individual accountability, and using technology (Zoom, Asana, Slack etc) to collaborate effectively.

We really needed to challenge the brief for this project, so it was an important lesson in not over committing to initial assumptions. I have the confidence to bring the user’s input back to the client.

Navigating a pivot

Logos from competitive analysis
Up-skilling and entrepreneurship competitors

Targeting employment

Our initial domain research and competitive analysis were focused entirely around upskilling for the job market and guidance on setting up your own business.

The voice of the people

Our SME and user interviews highlighted that libraries already succeed in offering a great space for people working or job seeking. Instead we found that a digital transformation could really make a difference in their function as a community hub for local events.

Pivoting to events

Challenging the brief, we decided to pivot towards an online listing and booking process for events in the library. We revisited our research, looking into how community-minded businesses list, promote, and manage events.

Community events competitors

Who, what, why, how?

The Persona: James Kane

James is a 42 year old father of two. He owns his own small business, and often uses the local library as a workspace.

He would like to find some free educational activities for his daughters to get them out meeting new people.

He’s worried that they spend more time on their phones and tablets than they do speaking to real people.

“When you check a notice board there is a lot of information. It’s the only way to find out about what’s going on.”

The problem:

Local library websites have a poor online presence, and don’t show up to date community events online, meaning guests need to find book events in person.

The Scenario

5 o’clock on a Friday evening…  

James is just finishing up his work in the library. He’s been wondering all day how to get his kids off their phones and out meeting people face-to-face. He decides to check online if there are any activities coming up this weekend at the local libraries. 

Logging into his library account, he checks out the events page, selecting the dates he’s interested in and filtering by “family friendly”. There is a lot happening; toddler groups, chess tournaments, a local history talk – he sees there is a multi-cultural meet-up where people can share food, music and traditions from their homelands. This would be perfect! He’s wanted to share more of his family’s Portuguese culture with his very English kids for a while. He selects the event, and RSVPs for himself, his wife and his kids. 

When the confirmation pings into his inbox he feels really satisfied and excited, planning what he could bring along, and wondering about what other cultures his family will be introduced to this weekend.

The Solution:

Zoe Slater
Adam Boast
Josu Iturbe
Anna Dubov

Axure RP

User & SME interviews
Contextual inquiry
Affinity mapping
Card sorting
Paper prototyping
Heuristic evaluation

6 weeks