NISO conference talk: From somewhat awful to pretty great for librarians, a new e-commerce tool

A talk given during NISO’s conference “The user experience: Just fix it” in January 2022. Slides (PDF)

We started building an e-commerce tool for librarians to license individual eBooks. The first version was partly good, partly awful.

So we learned more about, and mapped, the acquisition process in libraries. And we created a vision for how the system could fit into that library process. Then we chose a small piece to start with, designed and usability tested a solution with amazing librarians, and built it. We were one step closer to the vision – the system worked better for librarians.

So we learned more about the library process, updated the map, chose the next thing to fix, and got that developed. And then we repeated. And repeated. We keep on repeating. And the system is becoming pretty great.

The tools we use have evolved over time. Much inspiration has come from Teresa Torres who is a master at mapping, and from Jared Spool who is a UX vision wizard.

I hope you can take some of the tools we use and bring them into your org. Because all systems can become awesome to use. A little at a time.

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