Conducting User Research For Social Good Project In Croatia

December 5, 2022

I took the last Google UX course as a final challenge for 2022, and here is how it's going

Learning about user experience started while I was still working at my regular job in 2020. As with every position in the beginning you are still learning about the company and the ongoing projects, processes, and company culture, but with time you also start doing things that are not really in your job description (if you are lucky to have one).

When I wasn't at work I would watch videos about user experience, read books on the topic, and explore niches that design in general can outstretch. I got so curious that at the time when we were creating a mobile game prototype with my friend I was considering to niche down into user experience in gaming. But who knows, one day I really might, especially after finishing My Time at Portia, heh.

Anyways, what was the title of this article? Ah, yes, user research. I chose a topic for the project to be: Design user experience to help people have access to local city libraries. So here is a little backstory on why I chose this to be my topic. Love reading and trying to have a kind of minimalistic lifestyle or at least buy only necessary things, so naturally became a member of the Zagreb City Library (ZCL) in September 2021. Then as soon as I realized that I can't borrow more than one book at a time, I needed a way to extend my lending. Then I was introduced to the simple web application used by the library.

Illustration by Nikoleta Angelova of a human searching for users steps with magnifier.
Searching for answers by asking the right questions. Being a designer and a private investigator is pretty much the samething.

The services you can use through the web application are:

  • View and modify your profile data
  • Pay online (overdue loans of books)
  • View your debts, reservations, and loan history
  • Search and browse the catalog of available books to lend

And that's it. Here comes my desire to create something different, slightly improved. The mobile app that is available on Play and App Stores has the same layout as the web application available through any browser. So of course as someone who uses the application at least once a month I got a bit friction through the user interface and hence the idea that this is a perfect topic for a project to work on.

If you wonder how my research is going, I will be honest: it is progressing very slowly. You can imagine how narrow my pool is when the users should first answer these requirements:

  1. Members of the ZCL
  2. Using or have used the ZCL web app before
  3. Being open and willing to fill out the survey (quantitative)
  4. Willing to participate in 1:1 interview live or online (qualitative)

So yes, I have created my scope for the research, shared my survey, and posted about the interview with friends and acquaintances. Also, left a flyer in three big libraries in the city. My interview questions are also ready and I will practice with a friend this week. Last week I also went to scout for my interviewees in the library/reading room, but I forgot about the being quiet part hahaha. Reached out to the headmistress of the main library office too, so wish me luck!

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