Entrepreneurial Collaboration and Usability Studies That Lead to One Replicable Search Path

Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol, Elizabeth Kocevar-Weidinger, Virginia Kinman


Librarians initiated and led a multi-disciplinary, real-world learning experience for graphic design students in collaboration with a member of the university’s teaching faculty and a corporate library database vendor (client). The faculty member and librarians guided students in conducting usability studies of the client’s databases, analyzing the results, producing clickable prototypes and recommendations, and a formal presentation for the client’s representative. In this collaborative user experience project, the authors and the students tested the client’s interest in the feasibility of consolidating multiple database interfaces into one replicable search path for K-12 and university environments. Through this project librarians served as leaders in creating an innovative corporate/academic partnership in which university students applied their theoretical knowledge in corporate world situations. Collaborations like this provide models for ways to increase librarians’ engagement with faculty and students and for the creation of instructional scenarios that allow students to apply disciplinary knowledge and information literacy skills to workplace problems.


librarians; usability testing; collaboration; corporate client; multi-disciplinary; graphic design; students

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ISSN: 1947-525X