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Feedback & improvement initiatives

User navigation project


We were interested in learning more about how people locate the Library’s services and navigate the physical spaces in order to help us come up with solutions regarding wayfinding in the newly renovated Webster Library and in the planning of any Vanier Library improvements. This project ran in two parts from September 2019 to March 2020. Thank you to everyone who participated. The Library will use the findings to inform future signage, tools and library design.

Phase 1: Library postcards

From September 23 to November 4, there were blue mailboxes around the Library, asking users to send us a postcard about things they found frustrating or hard to find as they traveled around the Library.

The purpose was to help us identify the problems that users are having when navigating the Library, and which resources or services are difficult to find.

Mailbox for user navigation project
Phase 1: Results

We received over 600 postcards. Some postcards related to navigation (locating bathrooms, finding specific rooms, finding books, identifying printers, finding the right elevator, etc.), and many postcards related to facilities, noise, food, and library services.

We will use the navigation-related comments to help us plan the second phase in the navigation project, in the Winter 2020 semester.

Phase 2: Navigating the Library

In February and March 2020, we asked for help from student participants. Twelve participants were given a scenario with two tasks and asked to find their way around the Library to accomplish those tasks. After they had finished, we sat down with them to discuss their experience navigating the Library.

person at crossroads
Phase 2: Results

We learned many things from all our participants, but some of the things that came up in several scenarios was that:

  • Signage at the Webster Library is clear and consistent;
  • It is difficult to find a room at the Webster Library when you only have the room name, but not the number;
  • Participants consulted the digital kiosks to help them find their way, but the information layout and design needs improvement;
  • The group study rooms at the Vanier Library can be hard to find;
  • The signs at the Vanier Library are clear and useful, however, they are mismatched and not visually pleasing.

If you have any questions or comments about this project, please send us a message on our Feedback & Suggestions blog.

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