Although user testing and community engagement are already essential part of the usual Double Diamond design process, the team believes Public Interest Technologies require a more comprehensive research phase. Identifying and talking to the right people helped guide our design process and the scope of our project. When we began, the team focused on language policies and it’s gap in implementation in city agencies. However, after talking to Nick and Denise we soon realized that our assumptions and understanding of how the QPL system situates itself and operates within the larger context.
Communication with QPL representatives and librarians was also crucial not only in the research and design phase. With the help of the QPL IT department, we received a detailed excel data sheet that helped us create a multi-language library catalog that caters to a user's language preference. To begin with, we integrated 24 books across 2 languages, specifically English and Spanish. Moving forward, our aim is to integrate languages that are representative of the larger demographic populations in Queens, i.e. Chinese, Korean.
A challenge the team faced was conducting enough user tests on different types of users since the prototypes are only developed in specific languages (Chinese or Spanish) as a result of the limitation of our team’s language skills.
The development of our project would not be possible without the support and guidance of our faculty Lydia Chilton (School of Engineering, Computer Science). Mark Hansen (School of Journalism). Laura Kurgan (Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation), Celeste Layne, Anne-Laure Razat and Stacy Tao.
We really appreciate the help from Nick Buron, the Chief Librarian of QPL, Denise Corcoran, Director of Central Library Services, Fred J. Gitner, Assistant Director of New Initiatives and Partnership Liaison, and the numerous branch librarians who provided us information and data that we need to develop the project.
Lastly, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to the first and second generation immigrants who opened up to us about their experiences and participated in our user testing.