Bird Library Services Improvement



According to data provided by the Syracuse office of Disability Service, approximately 2,269 people, including Students and staff are registered as different types of disabilities in the 17/18 academic year. The data shows an upward trend compared to previous years. What We want to do is to design an intervention which can help disabled students enjoy campus life better.


After interviewed with university stuffs and students, conducted immersive experience, and observed at campus we identify 4 pain points.

- Deaf people can’t communicate well with librarian.

- Blind people can’t easily find the help desk.

- The number of accessible audio files is scarce for blind people.

- Borrowing book in library is the main obstacle disabled people encountered.

Insights: The main purpose disabled people come to the library is for borrowing the book, currently, librarian need spend much time to help them find the book, if there is a system or service can help disabled people that will be great.


Students are the biggest source in college. Getting all the students involved in is a good way to go.


Timeline: 2 Months

Team Members: Jiayu Kang, Faezeh Tabatabaeimanesh, Zihang Diao, Tianyou Hui.

My Role: UX and Interaction Design, User Research, User Testing, webpage design, and poster design.

Tools: Sketch, Photoshop, Invision, Lucid Chart, Whiteboard, Illustration, Notecards, Post-its, Pen and Paper.

Research Tools: Qualitative & Quantitative Analysis, Comparative & Competitive Analysis, User Research, Persona Creation, User Journey Map, User Flow, Wire-framing, Paper Prototype, High Fidelity Prototype, Clickable Prototype, Make a Video.

Discovery & Research

Interview with library help desk staff

The help desk can provide great help to anyone,but there are still some inconvenient situations for the disabled. Help desk employees give several examples:

1.Deaf people usually bring their own mobile phones to type and communicate with employees. The problem is that such communication is difficult, and employees want large screen tablets to make it easier for deaf people.

2.It is difficult for blind people to find the help desk after entering the library, the help desk staff suggested that blind paths should be laid on the floor to guide the blind to the help desk.

3.Many files are not easily converted to audio files due to copyright and various factors, such as pdf files, and the number of accessible audio files is scarce.

4.The main purpose of people with disabilities coming to the library is to borrow books, for other students this is simple thing but for them is very difficult, they always looking for help from librarians, so if students also can offer help is great.

Immersive Research

We want to pretend to be physically disabled to borrowing a book which is on the 3rd floor in Bird Library, so we can experience the real obstacle the disabled faced.

Pain Points:

1.So many obstacles and narrow corridors between shelves in the library, which are unfriendly to wheelchairs.

2.Too many bookshelves which make people confused.

3.Help desk only on 1st and 3rd floor, and sometimes no staff on 3rd floor

4.Some books are unreachable for physical disabled people.

Insights: Students who are not staff in Bird Library can also help disabled people.

Research-Case Study

The North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NCLBPH)

Freely circulates thousands of books and magazines (in audio, large print, or braille format) specially made for persons who cannot use regular printed material because of a visual or physical disability.

The library is located in Raleigh, but mails materials to patrons throughout the state free of charge.

NCLBPH is not just for patrons who are legally blind:

1.Anyone who has issues seeing that cannot be corrected by reading glasse.

2.old age, or even a temporary issue with sight.

3.people with a physical disability preventing them from turning pages or holding a book are also included.

What does the NCLBPH offer?

-books and magazines in large print, audio formats, or braille.

-freely loans specially designed audio players to patrons alongside audio materials.

-Special accessories for the audio players, such as remote controls, breathe switches, and extension levers.

-The NCLBPH repairs, at no cost.

-A toll-free telephone line for use throughout North Carolina.

-he Friends of the NCLBPH’s library newsletter, Tar Heel Talk, is provided quarterly to patrons and is available in all formats (audio, braille, large print).

-A Descriptive Video Service (DVS): DVS presents a descriptive audio track that describes the spoken detail of movies. This is available in both VHS tape and DVD.

-NOBLE (North Carolina BARD Local): which users can download locally produced digital braille and digital audio books and magazines.


More Research

Interview with Edward Zaremba

Syracuse University, M.S. Cultural Foundations of Education, C.A.S Disability Studies; Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, C.A.S Conflict Studies, May 2020; Syracuse University College of Law, Juris Doctor Candidate May 2020

His advices:

1. Avoiding people making jokes on the board;

2. Thinking of how to encourage people to help;

3. Disabled people can access the Internet through their own device.

More Research —— A questionnaire for all SU students


We designed a interaction system in touch screen with which students can post their quests and someone can choose to help them througn this system.


We start to test in the Bird Library and many studtents feel it can be really helpful and give us a lot of feedback.


19 people participate in the prototype testing.


1. Change ‘Press here to imput your request’ to a button;

2. Add the numbers of people for one request;

3. Set time by yourself;

4. Less time left with bigger bubbles;

5. Use SU ID to send out and take requests;

6. Rewards decided by the person who sends out the request.

Interface changed based on feedbacks

Two functions are added based on Feedback

A webpage can access to the Communication Board service.

When someone take the request you released, you will received a email from our Communication Board system.


In the early stage of the project, we did a very detailed basic research, we interviewed many experts, issued a lot of questionnaires to the students, we conducted immersive research and look into case study, and we obtained a lot of very practical and rich data from this whole process. On this basis, we obtained a lot of inspirations by analyzing these data. Eventually we designed the Communication Board, and after it was born we continually tested it and adjusted it through feedbacks. We believe through our Communication Board System, we not only can offer students and faculties a more strong connection in campus, but also provide them a valuable opportunity to help each other, and makes all of the students and faculties in Syracuse University can fully enjoy their campus life. We believe our Communication Board service is exactly what Syracuse students and staffs need right now, and we are so proud of its birth!