Marc, Maria and David : applying user experience design to public libraries

Objectives: Adopting the principles of user experience design (UX), we created three user personas to help design digital and on-site products and services and use in Catalan public library planning to promote patron loyalty and attract new users.

Methodology: A representative survey of the Catalan community (1,205 answers) and a bivariate analysis identified the three targets which, thanks to the focus groups and content analysis, could be used to create the three user personas. The user persona technique employs real data to identify possible users, helps generate empathy between library staff and patrons and ensures that service and product design is person-centred.

Results: The three user personas are accompanied by evidence-based descriptions and scenarios which should help to design user experiences. They are: Marc (user), a student who wants to co-design the library and asks for patron-organized face-to-face social activities; Maria (non-user), a retiree who needs human warmth and whose profile reflects the need for closer collaboration between social services and libraries; and David (ex-user), a working man of over thirty years old who believes that he does not need the library, even though he is unaware of most of the services it currently offers him.