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Month January 2010

La Biblioteque Infernale

Finnish Libraries iPhone App

My friend Antti in Helsinki writes:

Our library app is now officially @ App Store. It’s called iKirjasto. That’s iLibrary in Finnish. Check it out.

Link to App Store: http://itunes.apple.com/fi/app/ikirjasto/id349629673?mt=8&uo=6 [not downloadable in the US]
Our site: http://www.ikirjasto.fi

It’s the very first beta release of the app. So don’t be too harsh on it. It’s just a basic seach app with some special functions limited to Helsinki City Metropolitan Library (you can browse new book titles in cover images & a native client for reserving). It’s only in Finnish, but hopefully it’s clear how it functions. I posted some crude screen captures to our blog: http://labs.kirjastot.fi/?q=blogi/ikirjasto-app-storessa

There are currently 468 different Finnish libraries and 9 different library systems in the app. It covers almost all libraries in Finland. This made it a bit complicated to code, as you might imagine. This also delayed the project quite a while.

I like the fact that this app works for 468 Finnish libraries. We’re actually working on something similar for the next version of the DCPL iPhone app.

iKirjasto App Storessa | labs.kirjastot.fi

If print is dead then this is a very long goodbye

Less about reading and more about design work. Still an interesting perspective.

DIY Blogging

Crayola’s Law

The number of crayon colors doubles every 28 years.

Crayola’s Law

The number of crayon colors doubles every 28 years.

PAPER: the fifth wonder


The Future is Now

Seriously. One aspect of creating the future for libraries is to make current libraries amazing.

In our attempt to create amazing user experiences, we often want to push the envelope, to create something new, to show people a bright new future. But too often we fall into the novelty trap. The novelty trap is when, in an attempt to dazzle our clients and our users, we focus too much on the new and not enough on the now.

To create great user experiences we need to focus on the now. In reality the problems of our users are painfully mundane and often obvious. It is our task to ease this pain, and in doing so we might not invent some amazing new thing, but that’s OK. Success is incremental.

Read the whole article at 52 Weeks of UX

movie rental patterns via Netflix

from the NYT

new column: the user experience

I’m writing a column for Library Journal called The User Experience. It’ll appear every other month.

In this month’s I explain what UX is, make the case for librarians as designers, and even talk about Paul Renner.

Every time librarians create a bookmark, decide to house a collection in a new spot, or figure out how a new service might work, they’re making design decisions. This is what I like to call design by neglect or unintentional design. Whether library employees wear name tags is a design decision. The length of loan periods and whether or not you charge fines is a design decision. Anytime you choose how people will interact with your library, you’re making a design decision. All of these decisions add up to create an experience, good or bad, for your patrons.