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Group Study Room Bookings UX Study

In April 2017, the UX Team explored how students were experiencing the new online booking system for Group Study Rooms.

Research Questions

  • What do students think of the new online booking system?
  • How do students use the Group Study Rooms?


  • We conducted short guerilla interviews with 46 students using Group Study Rooms at random times throughout the day.
  • 7 random occupancy spot checks were conducted where we compared the online availability with the actual usage of each room for a given time slot.
  • We conducted an environmental scan of Group Study Room booking options in other Ontario university libraries.

What did we Learn?

  • Students found the online booking system easy to use and much preferred it to the old key method.
  • The majority of students had to stay up until 12 am (on the dot!) to secure a Room as soon as they were made available for the following day. Most expressed frustration in having to do this, but understood the rationale behind our same day booking model.
  • They would like to be able to book rooms for longer than 2 hours at a time.
  • Several groups in the Group Study Rooms were working individually (not on group assignments) but wanted to be around their friends.
  • They stressed the importance the Library plays in their studies. It is the only place on campus where they can book a quiet space for group work.

Our Recommendations

  • Eliminate the confirmation email. This adds an unnecessary extra barrier for the user.
  • Consider changing the start time for room bookings from midnight to earlier in the evening or first thing in the morning.
  • Allow students to book more than 1 day in advance.
  • Extend the 2-hr limit to allow one user to book 3 or 4 hours in a row.
  • Explore easier ways of cancelling room bookings rather than forcing students to locate the confirmation email.
  • Soundproof the rooms. They are currently located on “quiet” floors.
  • Long term: rezone the quiet space in the Library to ensure it is not shared with staff offices and Group Study Rooms.
Year of Study: