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Library Furniture UX Study

Today's Building Hours

8am - 10pm

All service hours

In April 2018, the UX Team gathered feedback from students on the library’s new furniture on the lower level and second floor.

Research Questions

  • How do students use the library’s new furniture?
  • What do they like about the furniture? What don’t they like?


  • We taped 200 flyers to the new furniture throughout the lower level and second floor. We asked students to email us their thoughts on the new furniture. We received 121 email responses.
  • We conducted brief guerilla interviews with 36 students using the new furniture.
  • We made general observations noting how many people were in each space, how they were using the new furniture, and how they were behaving.

What did we Learn?

  • Students were concerned with the open space under the carrels and tables. Many times they were “playing awkward footsies” with people seated across from them.
  • Students were mostly pleased with the new furniture. They loved the modern and clean aesthetic.
  • Students loved the addition of the standup desks.
  • Students noted that some of the chairs were uncomfortable.
  • The location of the light fixture and outlet in the middle of the carrels and tables was problematic.
  • Soft seating on the lower level was not as functional or comfortable as desired. The back rests were uncomfortable and the accompanying tables were an awkward size and height.

Our Recommendations

  • Continue to offer a variety of different study spaces
  • Large desk space with an extra shelf is preferred
  • Partitions under all the carrels and tables will help prevent “awkward footsies”
  • Provide additional chairs at the stand up desks
  • Consider ergonomically-friendly options like adjustable chairs
  • Explore implementing a system for students to report facility-related issues
  • Investigate different soft seating options 

Year of Study


The library is committed to ensuring that members of our user community with disabilities have equal access to our services and resources and that their dignity and independence is always respected. If you encounter a barrier and/or need an alternate format, please fill out our Library Print and Multimedia Alternate-Format Request Form. Contact us if you’d like to provide feedback: lib.a11y@uoguelph.ca