Planning for Humans: User-Based Design

User Based Design for the Evolving Library Space

User based design is so logical and widely talked about today that it can be overlooked in designing alternative school library spaces.  It is ultimately what this course is about.  

We have discussed current solutions to the issue of what a school library should be, such as a Learning Commons.  We have learned how to work around biases that can stifle creative, alternative solutions. We have looked at alternative tools to use when considering or planning space.  You have diagramed the trajectories that need to be considered in your new library space.  And you have overlaid those considerations with improvisational and dimensional elements.  We now need to bring all these pieces together and plan a space that will work in your school at this point in time based on the needs of your users.  

However, those needs will not be fixed. Thinking you can design a space today for an extended period of time can not be your goal.  Library space must have a multiplicity of trajectories.  You must design for current user needs. Provide tools to build their base knowledge while watching down the road for the next information explosion, the tools it will require and decide how it will impact user needs.  Leadership is really your goal.  Adapting the space that users need to be successful is merely a an ongoing task. 

What are the needs of the users currently?  How will those needs change in the next two years?  Are you driving those changes or following them?  How are you working with teaching peers to plan the next step forward for students?  Does the school have long term goals and a plan to reach those goals? What are the literacy skills your space will need to support?