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Appointment Booking Card Sort with Staff UX Study

In October 2018, the UX Team conducted a card sort with library staff to help determine the labelling and grouping of our services for a new appointment booking webpage.

Research Questions

  • How do library staff categorize the library’s different appointment-based services?
  • How do they label the broad categories they created?


  • We facilitated an unmoderated open card sort using Optimal Sort with 39 staff members who were separated into two groups: R&S and L&CS staff (16), and all other staff (23).
  • R&S and L&CS staff provide service for most of our appointments. We were interested to see if their “inside” knowledge influenced the way they sorted the cards versus all other library staff.
  • Participants were presented with all 27 library appointment cards and asked to group them into categories and then label those categories.
  • Participants were also given the opportunity to leave comments.

What did we Learn?

  • The Time managements, Studying & Exam Prep, Writing, and Academic Presentations cards were often grouped together. The labels participants created for these categories often included the word “Learning” or “Academic”.
  • Participants often used the words “Academic,” “Research,” “Support,” “Learning,” and “Open” to label broad categories.
  • The Media Studio, Online Exhibitions, and Accessibility Support cards were often categorized alone.
  • There were notable differences between how L&CS and R&S staff sorted and labelled the cards compared to the results from the remainder of library staff.

Our Recommendations

  • Ensure appointments are not sorted and described in a way that is only logical to staff with knowledge of the appointment
  • Avoid library jargon in both the naming of the appointments and the labelling of the categories
  • Create clear and succinct descriptions of each appointment that outlines what the user can expect
Year of Study: