Thursday, June 27, 2013

Making this blog even better!

At my last library in-service day I learned about U-X, user experience, as a model for library improvement. A couple of times since then I have written on issues related to this "U-X," but then, if you have memorized all 147 of my blog posts, you will know that.

"Oh" You ask "Were we supposed to memorize the blog posts?"

I laugh warmly. No, no, no. I mean, not word for word.

Now that that's all squared away I will touch up your memory ever so slightly by saying that the basic idea with user experience is to look at your services and environment from the perspective of the user, a sort of what-if-I-were-visiting-the-library-for-the-first-time thing. Anyway, I was thinking "Hey, what if I applied a little U-X to my blog?" That's how we ended up here. What do I like to see on a website, and how am I doing on my blog with me as a hypothetical user? Also, how can I improve?

1. I do not like to be faced with long blocks of text. I'd rather be eased into all that reading with pictures, headlines, sub-headlines, cartoons, optical illusions, flattery, and stoked outrage.

How am I doing?:

Really really really badly.

Plans to fix it:

Um, train the user to appreciate large blocks of text?

2. I love numbered lists. It makes everything so pleasantly buffet-like and easily digestible.

How am I doing?:

     1. Awesome
     2. Way high on the curve!
     3. Brilliant.

Plans to fix it:

None required!

3. I like when a post has interesting reader comments so that I can kind of linger in the world of the quality blog post I just read. I like the comments to be either
     1. What I would say, so I don't have to say it, or,
     2. More clever than what I can think of to say, or,
     3. All nice and warm and friendly, but if someone is mean I like lots of comments from different people ganging up to crush the mean commenter.

How am I doing?:

I have come to feel that, except for rare circumstances and to answer direct questions, the comment section is not really for me. It is for my blog readers. So then, this is more of a how are you doing? Perhaps you will want to do a U-X survey of your role as blog reader.

Plans to fix it:

Not applicable.

4. I dislike being given any responsibilities as a blog reader. I don't want to be called to action or asked to donate to anything. I especially don't want to be told to do a U-X of my role as blog reader! I don't want to login or click on anything, and I want to read safely tucked away in my remote and cozy anonymity.

How am I doing?:

Well, clearly "3" was a low point and touched a bit of a nerve with me as a pretend reader of my blog. Hypothetical me is not doing a U-X of my (his?) role as a blog reader! On the plus side I make people click very little, login not at all, and consider contributing to absolutely nothing. I, as a reader, would like this. The occasional implications that it would be nice if I commented or that I should read certain books would be minor annoyances.

Plans to fix it:

I guess I could stop suggesting you do a user experience study of your role as blog reader. We'll start with that.

I guess that's all for today because I don't want to have too much text here! But I will say this in conclusion about my blog U-X study:

1. I learned a lot!
2. Only together can we make this blog perfect!
3. We probably shouldn't make this blog perfect.


  1. Ah....may I suggest an in-service on what it would be to be a clerk at a library in MN who has an in-service on what it is like to be a patron at his library? So that would likely mean the person having the in-service would *not* be the clerk but a person of more managerial position, like the county coordinator? So that person would first have to be a clerk for a day and then be a clerk learning what it's like to be a patron in the library.

    I have another idea: what if the patron spent a day being the clerk learning what it's like to be a patron? Or would that simply mean the person was being a patron?

    1. As of 2015 we are still working this out. But keep checking back here. We hope to implement your ideas as soon a we're clear on what they are. I will keep you updated on our progress.

  2. It's pretty perfect. I like it. If I didn't think it would be cheesy, I would write "ha ha!" in the comments on almost every post.

    Grape Arweeww is making my head spin.

    ha ha!

    1. Aw, geez, back here I didn't respond to comments for awhile. Weird that this is years (almost) old! Er, sorry for taking so long to respond. I don't think kiminorkey even reads this blog anymore, alas. I sure wish kiminorkey wrote "ha ha!" in the comments on almost every post.


If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.