Notice: Access to Special Collections material, the Reading Room, and Instruction will temporarily be suspended starting on Aug.12, 2024 as the collection will be moved from the basement to 3 East. Normal operations are anticipated to resume late in the semester. Read more for current updates.
Notice: Access to Special Collections material, the Reading Room, and Instruction will temporarily be suspended starting on Aug.12, 2024 as the collection will be moved from the basement to 3 East. Normal operations are anticipated to resume late in the semester. Read more for current updates.
Notice: Maintenance affecting the library catalog will occur on July 26-29. The catalog will be available except for newly added e-resources, which will not appear until after the maintenance is completed and the backlog of changes can be delivered - possibly 10 days. In addition, renewals and changes to circulation status will not be visible in the EDS interface during this time.
Notice: Maintenance affecting the library catalog will occur on July 26-29. The catalog will be available except for newly added e-resources, which will not appear until after the maintenance is completed and the backlog of changes can be delivered - possibly 10 days. In addition, renewals and changes to circulation status will not be visible in the EDS interface during this time.
Notice: Due to ongoing construction, 4 East is currently closed to the public.  To obtain items located on 4 East, please place an online request for the item to be paged for you using the ‘Place Request’ button in the catalog. Please visit our Circulation FAQ page for assistance in using our catalog.
Notice: Due to ongoing construction, 4 East is currently closed to the public.  To obtain items located on 4 East, please place an online request for the item to be paged for you using the ‘Place Request’ button in the catalog. Please visit our Circulation FAQ page for assistance in using our catalog.

Introduction

The User Experience (UX) and Web Services unit supports the improvement of the Library experience in using physical and digital spaces, services, and collections. The unit provides support for Accessibility, UX Research and Design, UX Testing, Application Development, and Analytics.

We also provide training and support for the Libraries’ websites and digital services. Get in touch with our team and we'll be happy to help you with all of your web or user experience needs.

Accessibility

Our team strives to create digital spaces that are accessible by people with disabilities. We implement an accessibility first development approach that prioritizes accessibility from the outset. So, being mindful in how we both design and build our services to be as inclusive as possible. Starting with the early stages of design, we make sure elements such as color contrast, font sizes, and hierarchy all meet accessibility standards. Then we do continual accessibility testing throughout the development process. For more information about the Libraries’s accessibility services please visit the MSU Libraries’s Accessibility web page.

We offer assistance in ensuring content created for the Libaries' websites is accessible. Please contact us if you need assistance.

UX Research & Design

Our team performs UX research such as heuristic analysis, comparative analysis, and user interviews before and throughout the design process. This research informs the content, structure, layout, and interactivity of our sites. The design process itself is iterative and collaborative - a design is presented to the team and stakeholders, feedback is given, and more work is done on the design until all of the criteria are met and the design is approved. These designs are further improved after sessions of carefully planned UX testing. We then work with our Accessibility team to ensure the designs deliver the best experience for all users.

UX Testing

Our team is strongly committed to interacting with our users, receiving feedback and iterating on the work we do on a consistent basis. We have been diligent in conducting monthly activities to interact and perform UX testing activities with our user groups which include students, staff, faculty, and community members. These activities help us understand how our users are using our website and discovery interfaces, identify pain points while using the site and update the functionality based on our observations and recommendations provided during the testing process.

Our team starts by identifying a feature we want to test and brainstorm possible scenarios a user might encounter while using said feature. We create tasks around the identified scenarios, which are usually small and can be completed with relative ease. We enlist test participants by sending out an email blast to our staff, faculty, student employees and posting about our UX testing on social media. A signup is provided to interested  members so they can pick a date and time to participate in the activity. We typically meet in-person with the participant and observe them, with their consent, while they are performing the tasks to identify pain points and evaluate the ease of use. We provide plenty of opportunities for our participants to give us their feedback and recommendation which is used as the basis for improving the user experience. 

Application Development

We offer support for application development to support functions and services offered by MSU Libraries. Applications that we currently support include: lib.msu.eduintranet.lib.msu.eduMakeAtStateTurfGrass, the Digital Media Lending site, and more. Our team develops applications using an Agile framework, following a Sprint workflow. We strive to develop and support open-source applications whenever possible.

Analytics

Matomo

Our team has expertise in setting up and maintaining tracking software for web applications. We are currently using Matomo, an open-source tracking software for tracking web traffic. The Main Library website and our Digital Repository site use Matomo to track and analyze web traffic, identify top search terms, most used web pages, and get performance statistics (such as page load times) for the sites. Metrics help us understand usage trends and optimize the user experience. These metrics include visits or sessions, time on page, exit and entry pages, bounce rate, and referrals. To protect our users, our tracking is set up to anonymize IP addresses and other personal identifiable information of our users. This service will soon be extended to the MSU Libraries intranet and Springshare products used by the MSU Libraries. 

ARL Reporting

The Association of Research Libraries(ARL) is a non-profit organization of research and academic libraries and archives in major public and private universities. This non-profit organization gathers and disseminates data from academic and research libraries which includes statistics such as collections usage, library expenditures, library personnel, reference transactions, electronic resources usage, InterLibrary Loan requests, etc.  They analyze and highlight emerging trends, shift in usage trends and predict future trends based on the observed patterns. This is an annual activity the WebUx team at the MSU Libraries is responsible for collecting and reporting the statistics to ARL.