Librarian Interviews
In order to learn about the MLibrary as a whole, we interviewed a technical librarian to learn more about the library website system. We learned that there are several practical limitations in rendering music online, and lack of resources in displaying album covers. Due to this reason, we decided to narrow down our ideas, and focus specifically on a better browsing experience and to help users to get their searched items in a different manner.We also further interviewed an additional music librarian to gain more insights to the audio collection and the genre of music. From this interview, we found that users have difficulty in searching for music, because often times, users think they are good at their searching strategies, while there could be better ways to find materials. Primary users of the music library are music students in finishing their academics. Moreover, we found that there was a lack of awareness for the music library in general. Based on this finding, we wanted to design a separate audio exploration site that can potentially raise awareness.

User Interviews
We interviewed music school, business, library science, and art and design students. Interpretation sessions were held after each interview in generating design ideas. According to our five user interviews, we found that most users prefer to use “album, artist and song” as their most intuitive search category. Another finding was that some users are confused and do not know how to specify their search. We want to address this issue in our design, where there should be help functions in our system to inform our users and to increase a better interaction experience.

User Demographic Distribution
5 interviewees
Identity: Undergraduate and graduate students in University of Michigan
Education: B.A. to PhD
Age: 18 to 35

Key Findings

  • 4/5 users cannot find intended search materials
  • Design idea: auto complete helps users find stuff
  • Design idea: Library as an education purpose–> different from other commercial system
  • There are 3 types of search behavior toward finding resources:
  1. Mlibrary Main page(keyword,catalog)
  2. Outsource(google, amazon)
  3. connective search (google scholar link back to MLibrary)
  • 3/5 consult google as first instinct
  • Function use: keyword search, advanced search, favorite, advance search – not highly used/impact. Most of the time Mlibrary is not first priority of resource
  • Design idea: educate users how to search (giving sample) – “they think their search tactic is good, but actually it is not. and when search result does not yield satisfactory result, will blame for system.”
  • Insight: only reference librarian know how to effectively search and look at catelogue – “transferability”
  • There is no experience in general. People don’t know there is music collection
  • Search bar is confusing (cause music library is emerged inside Mlibrary)
  • no individualized webpage/engine/search
  • Design idea: specific options (not like advance search) – like a ‘music library’
  • 2/5 user: Relevance is key – can specific select to recommend/type of recommendation needs to be explicit.
  • 3/5 user: would want ratings-based recommendation.
  • diverse methods of search tactic and strategy: 1. title, keyword, genre, artist 2.“year” for heavy user
  • Insight: genre vs. subject – confusing. – browse feature as more important
  • would want browse feature – ability to yield search result, then generate browse feature
  • Design idea: search vs. browse – different intention
  • 3/5 peer recommendation as extremely important –
  • recommendation based on producer, band (artist).
  • Design idea: instead of having individual profiles, have selected group profiles
  • concern/insight: cannot track all information/privacy issues.

For more information regarding user interview, please click on the tables below: