How to Think (and Act) Like a UX Librarian

I had the privilege of presenting as part of an online panel last October with my brilliant colleagues, Emily Daly from Duke University and Josh Boyer from NCSU. We talked some shop and had a lot of fun. Check out the full recording if you’re interested in learning more about what it’s like to do UX work in large academic libraries.

This session was organized by the University Libraries Section (ULS) of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL). The first session was pretty popular, so we hosted a “part two” in February where we dived into more details and examples of our work. Here it is for those of you who missed it!


Introducing UX@UA

I work at the University of Arizona (UA), and in talking with a colleague across campus a few weeks ago, we realized that there is no venue for like-minded UXers to get together.

So we formed an informal group, UX@UA. Everyone interested in user experience is welcome! Join the conversation in our UX@UA Slack Team (use your UA email) and our community in Meetup.

At our first meetup in August, we had about 20 people attend from all across campus, including web designers, web developers, graphic designers, business analysts, and teaching faculty. We watched a webinar on selling the value of UX.

At our second meetup in September, we had just a handful of people, including faculty and grad students. We watched a webinar on identifying users’ “top tasks,” and talked about future collaborations.

At our third meetup, we’ll hear from two members on their recent UX projects. Hope to see you there!

Building Your Content Strategy Toolkit

At Designing for Digital last month, I presented a 4-hour workshop on Building Your Content Strategy Toolkit. I appreciated hearing about other librarian’s content challenges, brainstorming over how to tackle them, and learning from each other throughout the day.

I’ve posted my slidedeck below and made it available along with associated activities at

From the description:

Do you struggle with web content that is complicated, outdated, or irrelevant? In this workshop, learn how to identify content challenges, define messaging, create standards and style guides, and establish workflows to keep things going once a project is over. Whether you’re in the midst of a web project or just trying to get your feet wet, this workshop is for you.

Iterating on Agile: Making It Work in Real Life

I’m excited to attend Code4Lib for the first time this week. While I don’t code currently, I do manage a team of uxers, designers, and coders. I’m looking forward to meeting likeminded colleagues and learning lots!

Mike Hagedon is our dev team lead and I’m our design team lead, and we’ll be presenting a poster on our design + dev experiments in agile methodologies. I hope if you’re attending you’ll come chat with us! Learn what we’ve tried, where we’ve succeeded, and where we’ve failed.

We also want to hear others’ perspectives and experiences. The poster will be interactive, so we’ll ask you to annotate it with questions, examples, and ideas. Here is the poster we have so far:


You can also see the PDF: Iterating on Agile.

Safe travels and see you in LA! #c4l17

Writing Effectively in Print and on the Web

It was a big effort, but I’m proud to announce my new book is out!

Order now: Writing Effectively in Print and on the Web: A Practical Guide for Librarians.

From the preface:

Writing plays a role in almost everything we do. It’s how we document our knowledge, share our stories, and ask our communities for help. It’s a tool to teach, influence, and persuade those around us. And in today’s digital age, we’re all publishers, sharing content with the world at the push of a button (literally). From webpages, to signage, to emails – writing is fundamental to our everyday lives.

Sadly, there is a lot of mediocre content out there: policy-driven websites with mountains of text, building signs that don’t actually tell you what you need to know, convoluted emails that leave you wondering, What was the point of that? Today’s reader is bombarded with endless streams of information and simply doesn’t have the time to sift through and make sense of it all.

Let’s do our part to end the madness. Writing Effectively in Print and on the Web: A Practical Guide for Librarians encourages you to put your readers at the heart of all your content, ensuring that it is engaging, relevant, and useful. You’ll learn techniques to write with clarity, precision, and purpose, which will serve you well in both your professional and personal life.

See more on Google Books or buy on Amazon. I hope you enjoy it.


Writing for the Web at Internet Librarian

Writing for the web has long been a passion of mine. I presented on it back at edUi in 2013, Nicole Capdarest-Arest and I created the course for Library Juice Academy and I’m currently writing a book related to the topic.

At Internet Librarian this week, I was thrilled to present on it alongside David Lee King. It was a lot of fun – we talked about why web writing matters, why we’re not so good at it, and how we can do it a bit better. Sadly our third panelist, Elaine Meyer, wasn’t able to attend at the last minute, but I think David did her justice in presenting her content.

Thanks for everyone who came out and participated. It’s cool to see so many people interested in creating better experiences through better content. I had a blast. Here’s my slide deck: