What happens when you contact the FCUX

The Five College User Experience Committee welcomes contact from each of the library committees, as well as individual staff members, regarding UX projects with a Five College impact or addressing cross-campus issues.

Contact the FCUX chair or any member of the group as soon as a need for UX work is anticipated.

Timing and scope for collaboration depends on the workload of the FCUX and the timeline of the requesting committee.  The UX committee normally meets monthly and communicates regularly between meetings.  The FCUX will determine priorities and set an agenda that strives to balance realistic expectations about what can be accomplished with the needs and ideas of our users and colleagues.

Point persons from FCUX and the other committee will be designated to keep communication rolling.

Joint meetings for selected members or full committees are recommended.

Scope and Purpose of the proposed FCUX work should be framed with shared Five College needs in mind, addressing issues related to users across our libraries.

Commitment is essential. The requesting committee should clearly articulate their desired outcomes and what they intend to do with the insights gained from UX work, and how this will be accomplished.

Identification of the problem(s), purpose and needs is a joint process, guided by FCUX prompts to:

Define the issue or problem
Gather relevant background information and historical data
Understand and articulate the question(s) and need for UX study
Set goals for the study
Consider techniques and methods

Possible roles for the FCUX include:

  • Identification of relevant materials and related studies to assist a committee in preparing a UX project
  • Consultation on aspects of a particular issue and UX study, including recommendation of methods and project management
  • Collaborative design work with a committee for a cross-campus UX study
  • Referral with recommendations to appropriate library staff at one or more of the five libraries, concerning campus-specific UX issues
  • Exploration of a problem to discover issues and define questions for cross-campus UX study
  • Education, training, and sharing of UX information with a broader Five College audience
  • Leading or taking responsibility for conducting a study of broad relevance to the Five College libraries, related to priority needs anticipated by multiple Five College library committees

Improved Wayfinding Techniques and Signage as a Means to Increase Ease of Use in Libraries with a focus on Technical Learning Commons and Other Learning Spaces Navigability

Sabbatical Report authored by Carol Will
Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Services (UTLS)
Learning Commons Coordinator/Librarian
W.E.B. Du Bois Library
University of Massachusetts Amherst


This report is the culmination of literature research, site visits, and attendance at a national conference on Wayfinding. I spent my sabbatical immersed in reading all types of literature and studies related to wayfinding, signage, cognitive impacts on how wayfinding is perceived by human brains, studies of wayfinding in all sorts of venues, along with how important wayfinding is to the user experience. I set out to understand what wayfinding is, along with why it is so crucial to many varieties of institutions and even in outdoor settings. During my visits, I took many photos of signs, architectural wayfinding designs, and anything that spoke to me as being related to the theories of signage I was reading about. Of course, the fun part was experiencing and photographing numerous wayfinding/signage “bloopers;” somewhat sad but well-intentioned human efforts at providing directions, policies, advertisements and anything related to marketing of products and services as associated with each individual institution. My intention was to use some of these photos as illustrations of best practices (and bad) as I became more familiar with the study of graphic design, wayfinding, and user experience.

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