User Experience - UX

Researches and enhances the user experience with usability testing, focus groups, and ethnographic interviews.

Library Student Ambassadors

Ithaka S+R Survey Rice Research

Rice University’s Fondren Library partnered with Ithaka S+R to administer an online survey in Spring 2015 to inform and improve library services. Faculty were surveyed on three topics, including: Digital Research Activities, Data Preservation & Management, and Discovery. Undergraduates and graduate students were invited to participate in a 10-minute national survey on library services that was also administered at many other universities, including UNC Chapel Hill, the University of Chicago, and Swarthmore.  The faculty survey has been done at Harvard, Tulane, Baylor, and Princeton. Fondren Library used the results of the survey to inform a recent website redesign and to generate ideas for service enhancements.

Research staff from Ithaka S+R visited the campus in May 2015 to present the findings to Fondren Library and worked with the Rice community to understand the results. The Faculty Survey and the Student Survey provided a heightened awareness of campus needs and helped library leaders to manage changes in the research process.

More information about the survey can be found at the Ithaka S+R website,

For questions or comments about the Survey, please contact: Debra Kolah ( or Sandi Edwards (

Rice University Faculty Survey Report of Findings

Rice University Graduate & Undergraduate Student Survey Report of Findings

Rice Library Faculty Committee

Rice Data Preservation and Management

Rice Digital Research Activities Deep Dive

Rice Discovery Deep Dive

Rice Town Hall Meeting

Volunteer Application

Fondren Library Volunteer Policy

Fondren Library depends on the commitment and expertise of many in the community who give their time and energy to our on-going projects. Here are guidelines to help ensure that the volunteer experience is a positive one for all involved.

Minimum age
Minimum age is 18.

Minimum time requirements
Volunteers assisting with short-term projects will agree to meet minimum time requirements as mutually agreed upon between volunteer and volunteer liaison. Volunteers are asked to make a minimum commitment of 4 hours per week, completed in 4-hour blocks of time, generally for no less than 6 months.  A set schedule will be mutually agreed upon between volunteer and volunteer liaison.

Regular attendance is important.  Being late may inconvenience those who count on the volunteer’s assistance.  Volunteers who must be late should notify their volunteer liaison in advance.  Volunteers should also notify their volunteer liaison as far in advance as possible should an absence be required.  Any volunteer failing to appear without notification for two weeks in a row will be automatically withdrawn from the volunteer program.

Orientation and training
Once a prospective volunteer has been chosen for the program in an area determined by mutual interest, the volunteer will participate in on-the-job training by a departmental/volunteer liaison. The volunteer will sign an agreement form covering the nature of volunteer duties and appropriate behavior.

Volunteer Picture ID
Before beginning their duties, all volunteers are required to have an official Rice picture ID card identifying them as complimentary employees. Each volunteer’s liaison will work with Fondren administrative staff to ensure the volunteer gets an ID. The ID permits access to the building at both Library entrances.

The Library does not pay for parking.  There are numerous parking lots on the perimeter of the campus. The closest covered parking is the Central Parking Garage under the Business School.  An economy lot is located at the edge of the campus next to the stadium.  Shuttle buses run a regular schedule with numerous stops. Please visit the campus parking information website for information.

Visitors/Telephone use
Volunteers are asked to refrain from visiting with friends and family during their hours.  Children are not allowed to accompany volunteers to work. Cell phones should be off or on mute during volunteer hours. Use of telephones should not interfere with volunteer responsibilities.

Safety is of primary importance for staff and volunteers.  Volunteers should report any safety hazards and inappropriate behavior to their volunteer liaison.

Volunteers may occasionally leave the program before completion of their commitment.  The volunteer liaison should be informed if the volunteer decides to leave.

Student Job Application

Please label your available hours with am/pm.

User Experience (UX)

UX examines the ways that our users experience libraries and how users interact with library staff and other departments across the organization.

We combine three approaches:

  1. doing ethnographic and observational studies
  2. conducting usability tests
  3. creating compelling experiences

Collaborating with librarians in other departments throughout the library, we use this data to help inform the decision-making process about current and future library services.