By Amanda Ly
Our Journey began in Room 206, in the Plangere Center for Communication at Monmouth University, where we were exposed to our very first lessons in “responsive media”. We began learning about the design process and how to create interactive solutions for real life problems; tackling small assignments and discovering intriguing examples of responsive media that are utilized in the world today. In the short class time we were given, we were able to collaborate on projects, brainstorm ideas for the future, and think in newly creative ways resulting from the newfound technology to which we were introduced. Although we accomplished a lot with our small assignments, we were ready for something bigger, something that posed a true challenge. After learning about how design can improve our environment, we began thinking about our University and how we can enhance the student experience here on campus through design intervention. Then, we were invited to act upon those ideas through the MU Library. The library was a perfect place for us to start, as it serves as an integral element of a student’s educational experience. But before we could dive too deeply into our design daydreams, we had to start with square one: research.
Before we are able to design a solution, we must first understand where the problem lies. This is where our research team comes in. Currently, we’re still working on bits of research – as the learning process never ends – but we have found some significant information via the research we’ve undertook thus far. We took multiple surveys about student impressions of the library and how they intereacted with it, asking questions about what features they utilize the most and what they think can be improved. We even went so far as to conduct research on the premises, evaluating legibility and overall quality of signage, and the efficiency of the library’s catalog search engine. We combined our research and the information given to us by the librarians about the problems they have encountered, and came to the conclusion that the library needs some improvements in its signage and a revamp of its online presence. Though the biggest problem of all was students having trouble navigating the premises as a whole, so that’s where we set our focus.
For now, we’ve got our sights set on wayfinding and signage improvements, and we’re working on prototypes of our ideas, which will be presented during Scholarship Week at our University. Keep an eye on this page for updates on our progress, and to see the results of our wayfinding adventure.