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WorldCat Discovery Pilot

Lead UX Research & Design for a massive search & discovery project.

The Platform

WorldCat Discovery is a cloud-based search tool that helps library patrons discover more than 1.298 billion items from libraries around the world in a single search box.  If a library is a member of WorldCat, their patrons could potentially have access to library items located in any other WorldCat library. The goal of the pilot was to streamline the discovery of items that are located in the local library catalogs with the discovery of items in all WorldCat libraries. In essense, we wanted to create a "Marketplace" for libraries.

The Pilot

We partnered with approximately 25 libraries to gather customer and user feedback. Pilot libraries reported a 114% increase in interlibrary loan requests and a 61% increase in borrowing requests from their consortium after implementing WorldCat Discovery.  This proved that WorldCat Discovery allowed patrons to discover and access library resources that they previously could not find outside of their local library.

My Role

UX Research & Design



Tools Used

Balsamiq, Axure

UX Research & Design for WorldCat Discovery Pilot

Create personas for different libraries and different patrons

We conducted extensive interviews and workflow analysis for the different types of patrons and the different types of libraries in the Pilot. These were drawn into Personas which were shared with all of the Pilot teams.

Sketch rough concepts and user flows

We facilitated concept and design workshops where we created preliminary concepts to begin putting in front of users for feedback.

Gather feedback through extensive usability testing

After a prototype was created, we did a significant amount of usability testing, refinement, and re-testing to determine the best discovery experience for all kinds of library patrons.

Our testing included 1:1 usability testing with library patrons as well as eye tracking studies in the in-house usability lab at OCLC.

Create hi-fidelity mockups and prototypes

Once we were confident in the design direction, we refined the visual treatment which allowed for a significant amount of library branding and customization.

After releasing the pilot, we worked with partner libraries around the country to gather feedback and data on library patron requests and determined that the new search tool resulted in patrons discovering and requesting 114% more items through inter-library loan than before the pilot. This validated that our application successfully helped patrons find library items that they previously did not know where available to borrow.