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Assessment & UX Projects

In addition to large-scale Libraries-wide surveys, the Libraries also engages annually in targeted projects focused on specific questions, services, spaces, and/or user groups. Results from these focused projects are used for the ongoing improvement of Libraries support for faculty and students. This page provides a selected list of Libraries assessment, user experience, and usability projects.



First Generation Graduate Student Research Process (PDF)

Student employees from Libraries Assessment and Libraries Usability led a collaborative project exploring the research needs of first-generation graduate students.



Libraries Reopening Assessment (PDF)

The Libraries Assessment team partnered with other units to take a flexible, holistic, mixed-methods approach to understanding student needs in the reopened Libraries spaces.


Suzzallo and Allen Libraries Floor Maps (PDF)

Redesigned floor and noise level maps based on research findings from Fall Study Spaces project.


Libraries Study Spaces - Research (PDF)

The goal of this project was to understand how UW Libraries could improve communication to students about the use of spaces and behavioral expectations.


Homepage Tiles - User Research (PDF)

The UW Libraries redesigned its homepage and launched the new version in May 2021. This report summarizes the user research done that summer to assess how helpful the resource tiles are and whether they should remain on the homepage.


Homepage Status Box Preference Testing - UX Cafe (PDF)

In November a quick UX Cafe style assessment was done to determine the best method for alerting users to timely information (banner or status box) as operations return to normal.


Open Scholarship Commons Year 1 Assessment (PDF)

The Open Scholarship Commons (OSC) is an interdisciplinary space in the Libraries for the co-creation of knowledge and open research for the public good. In partnership with the OSC and OSC service providers, Assessment, Data Visualization & Planning staff reviewed assessment data to guide the understanding of the impact of the OSC and paths forward for OSC operations and services.



Reopening Data & Spring Services Survey

The Individual Study Space @ Research Commons was the first Libraries space to reopen after closure in March 2020. This project enabled us to respond to immediate user needs for the reopened space as well as wider needs for future reopening. The data we collected from two short surveys, bookings from LibSeats reservations, and coded chat reference questions have guided Libraries reopening plans for Spring 2021 and helped prioritize services for Summer and Fall quarters. The data has also been shared with partners and stakeholders to extend support for students and maintain staff safety as we reopen our spaces to in person use.



STEM & Health Sciences Faculty and Postdoctoral Researcher Interviews

Building on data from the 2019-20 survey, Libraries staff conducted 19 interviews in Spring 2020 to learn more about faculty needs for understanding and communicating research impact. Results will be used to develop Libraries services and strengthen our contribution to researchers' ability to measure and communicate the impact of their work. Undertaken in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Libraries as part of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Impact Framework Project.


Enhancing Student Success through Participatory Design

The Libraries is currently undertaking two Participatory Design projects to partner with students to develop services and resources to meet their needs. The first 10-week project in Winter 2020 focused on first-generation undergraduate students, the second 10-week project (Spring 2020) centers on students in online programs.


Prototyping Spaces

Focused on the Government Publications, Maps, Microforms & Newspapers space in one of the main libraries on the UW Seattle campus, this project represented a new model for rapidly testing and modifying space configurations iteratively based on user and staff input.



STEM & Health Sciences Faculty & Graduate Student Surveys

The survey was distributed to over 12,000 faculty and graduate/professional students in Spring 2019. Dashboards with results are available on our surveys page. This assessment enabled the Libraries to identify priority areas for improvement to research support services and understand the contribution and impact Libraries services, spaces, and resources have on research at the UW.


Music Library Space Assessment

This project employed a mixed-methods approach to assess space use and needs at the Seattle campus Music Library. Results from this project helped the Libraries address growing needs for flexible spaces for teaching, learning, and research. Findings were used to improve student study spaces (including furniture & signage).


UW Bothell Student Learning Outcomes Assessment

UW Bothell/Cascadia College Librarians engage in annual student learning assessment projects focused on various aspects of the information literacy program. The 2018-19 project focused on improving faculty-librarian collaborations in the first-year Discovery Core I (DCI) course. Findings were used to improve the core IL assignment for the course.



Engineering Space Assessment

This project employed quantitative and qualitative methods to assess space use and needs at Engineering Library. Results from this project complement results from the In Library Use Survey and address growing needs for flexible spaces for teaching, learning, and research. Results were used to make changes to furniture, signage, and improvements to group and individual study spaces.


UX Cafe Sessions

Information Technology Services and Digital Strategies' pilot of small-scale, walk-up usability sessions designed to improve the Libraries online services and resources. The 2017-18 reports detail activities, results, and changes.


Government Publications, Maps, & Microforms Space Assessment

This project employed quantitative and qualitative methods to assess space use and needs in the Government, Maps, and Microforms area of Suzzallo Library. Results from this project complement results from the In Library Use Survey and address growing needs for flexible spaces for teaching, learning, and research. Results were used to make improvements to furniture, signage, and equipment.


Libraries Outreach Assessment Toolkit & Reports (ongoing)

Created by the Undergraduate Student Success Team, the toolkit is a group of adaptable and flexible template documents for assessment of outreach activities. The toolkit is available for use via Google Drive. The Outreach Toolkit Overview document provides a starting point for using and adapting the toolkit. Reports for 2017-18 include outreach activities such as a Transfer Student Social and Transfer Student Tours.


Libraries Hours Assessment

This project aggregated system-generated data to show hourly patterns of use across the Libraries. Data from this project helps guide decisions about opening, closing, and special hours across the system.


Media Browsing Collection

This project employed user experience (UX) methodology to reorganize the media browsing collection in Suzzallo Library in collaboration with Access Services. The report summarizes the searching, wayfinding, and browsing tasks that informed a series of changes to the organization of the collection.



Graduate Student Citation Management Needs
This project, which arose out of results from the 2016 Libraries Triennial Survey, employed a Design Thinking approach to understanding the citation management needs of graduate students at the University of Washington. Results are being used to improve citation management support services.


Research Commons Library Use Survey
Short paper survey distributed to those using the Research Commons during five sampling periods in February-March 2017. Results are used to inform furniture and other space-related improvements.



24/7 Online Chat Service Assessment
A project focused on a content analysis of UW Libraries’ chat reference transcripts to assess user populations and the types of questions they ask. The report identifies optimal staffing models and areas for improvement in chat and related Libraries services.


Understanding Transfer Student Needs
This project employed a Design Thinking approach to understanding the needs of transfer students at the University of Washington. The project, led by staff at Odegaard Undergraduate Library, resulted in changes to Libraries events, programming, and outreach to transfer students.


Foster Business Library Space Assessment
This project employed quantitative and qualitative methods to assess space use and needs at Foster Business Library. Results from this project complement results from the In-Library Use Survey and addresses growing needs for programming and instruction spaces.


UW Bothell Teaching & Learning Assessment Program: Revised Student Learning Outcomes
UW Bothell & Cascadia library project to revise information literacy (IL) student learning outcomes in light of the new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.  The outcomes form the basis for annual student learning assessment activities.


Odegaard Undergraduate Library Active Learning Classroom Assessment Project, Year Two
The Active Learning Classroom research team explored the social interactions that occur in the classrooms. The project focused on selected courses to understand how interactions in the classrooms affect the quality of student learning experiences and their perceptions of themselves as learners. The project resulted in five Active Learning Classroom profiles.



Odegaard Undergraduate Library Active Learning Classroom Assessment Project, Year One
A collaborative assessment project focused on the challenges and opportunities for teaching and learning instructors and students in new Active Learning Classrooms. The project team also sought to gather data to inform best practices for active learning strategies and future classroom designs.


UW Bothell Teaching & Learning Assessment Program: Nursing Program Student Learning Assessment
Librarians assessed key outcomes for student learning in UW Bothell's BNURS 350, Critical Thinking in Nursing, a core course in the Nursing program at UW Bothell.