LIBR 287-04
LIBR 287-15
Seminar in Information Science
Topic: Library User Experience
Spring 2013 Greensheet

Aaron Schmidt
Phone: 503.200.4200

Greensheet Links
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Class Delivery
This class will not be delivered via D2L. Instead, we'll use a site created specifically for the class:

Course Description

User experience (UX) characterizes how a person feels about a product, system, or service. User experience and design thinking can be applied to all aspects of libraries: from everything in your physical buildings to your library’s online presence. Librarians are the designers of the way users experience library services, resources, and programs. 
In this course, you will explore:

  • The relationship between design thinking, user experience, and innovation
  • Touchpoints found in library buildings
  • The user experience elements of library website
  • Usability techniques and website improvements
  • UX for the future of libraries

Good design, in library buildings and online, goes much deeper than choosing colors; it requires learning about communities and meeting their needs. You'll gain a toolbox of UX techniques, including user interviews, surveys, focus groups, personas, customer journey maps, and contextual inquiries.
With a sharper analytical eye and UX design skills, you'll be able to optimize, create, and innovate for current and future library users.

Course Requirements

Course Calendar
Dates subject to change

  • Week 1 - Into to class & UX
  • Week 2 - Intro to UX continued

— Library Website UX —

  • Week 3 - Intro to library website UX
  • Week 4 - Usability testing
  • Week 5 - Writing for the web
  • Week 6 - Content strategy
  • Week 8 - Flex week

— Library Building UX —

  • Week 8 - Intro to library in-person UX
  • Week 9 - User interviews and personas
  • Week 10 - Investigative UX techniques 
  • Week 11 - UX techniques continued
  • Week 12 - Graphic design
  • Week 13 - Flex week
  • Week 14 - UX for innovation
  • Week 15 - Wrap-up 


  • Reflection posts - 30 points (Supports SLOs #1-8)
  • UX analysis and comparison - 5 points (Supports SLOs #1, 2)
  • Website analysis - 5 points (Supports SLOs #4, 5)
  • Conduct a mini usability test - 5 points (Supports SLOs #2, 4, 5, 7)
  • Rewriting web content- 5 points (Supports SLOs #5, 7)
  • Start a content audit - 5 points (Supports SLOs #5, 7)
  • Touchpoint & 5 Whys - 5 points (Supports SLOs #2, 6)
  • Persona development - 5 points (Supports SLOs #2, 6)
  • Do a service safari - 5 points (Supports SLOs #2, 6)
  • Contextual inquiry - 5 points (Supports SLOs #2, 6)
  • Sign redesign - 5 points (Supports SLOs #1, 7)
  • New service memo - 5 points (Supports SLOs #1, 2, 7, 8)
  • Culminating synthesis - 5 points (Supports SLOs #1-8)
  • Class participation - 10 points (Supports SLOs #1-8)

Course Grading
Grading will be based on 100 possible points.

  • Most assignments are due on Sundays and must be turned in by midnight PST.
  • Late submissions will be reduced by 20% of the total points possible for that assignment.
  • If life circumstances require students to request an extension, please do so several days before the assignment is due or as soon as possible.
  • Communication and interaction throughout the semester via the course site is expected an required.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

LIBR 200, Other prerequisites may be added depending on content

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the elements of a good user experience.
  2. Describe user research techniques and a design and innovation methodology.
  3. Articulate the relationship between design thinking, user experience, and innovation.
  4. Analyze library websites with user research techniques.
  5. Evaluate a library website and identify good aspects and areas that could be improved.
  6. Describe how libraries can improve their physical touchpoints with user research techniques.
  7. Apply design thinking skills to identify opportunities for libraries.
  8. Identify nontraditional user-centered library programs or services and use them to explain opportunity for the future of libraries.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 287 supports the following core competencies:

  1. J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors.
  2. N Evaluate programs and services based on measurable criteria.


Required Textbooks:

  • Krug, S. (2005). Don't make me think: A common sense approach to web usability (2nd ed.). New Riders Press. Available through Amazon: 0321344758. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Merholz, P., Wilkens, T., Schauer, B., & Verba, D. (2008). Subject to change. O'Reilly Media. Available through Amazon: 0596516835arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Redish, J. (2007). Letting go of the words: Writing web content that works. Morgan Kaufmann. Available through Amazon: 0123694868arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Williams, R. (2003). The non-designer's design book. Peachpit Press. Available through Amazon: 0321193857arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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