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The interview and usability studies gathered feedback from students to understand their current study environment, expectations of using the libraries during COVID-19, and any usability issues with the seat booking prototype. The post-visit survey gathered experience feedback and the likelihood of rebooking.


  • Amy Deschenes
  • Song Ha Kim
  • Claire DeMarco
  • Enrique Diaz
  • Danielle Lavoie


  1. Current Study Environment. Where are students currently studying and how does it compare to their normal study environment?
  2. Seat Booking Expectations. What are students’ expectations for booking and using the library for studying during COVID-19? What kind of information do students need to determine whether they would like to use Seat Booking?
  3. Seat Booking Usability. How do student expectations compare with their impressions of the prototype? Are there any usability issues or necessary clarifications with using the prototype?
  4. Feedback on service & booking. How do students feel about using the service? Are they likely to rebook? (Post-visit survey)


Usability testing

Participants were interviewed about their current study environment, how it compares to a non-COVID study environment, and their expectations on booking a library study space during COVID-19.
Participants then used the Seat Booking prototype to complete a task in booking a seat, talking through the process of booking, receiving confirmation information, and their expectations of the in-person experience.


Students who reserve a seat will be sent a Qualtrics survey after their visit. A raffle prize will be offered as an incentive. As of 10/19/20 we’ve had over 80 responses.


  • Usability testing: Five students living on-campus; two first-year students and three graduate students.
  • Survey: All students who make a booking will receive the survey via email.

Key Takeaways on Prototype Usability & Policies

  1. All students were able to book a seat on the prototype, but the majority wished it was clearer that the maps can be used to understand the seat names/locations. Many students believed that clicking on the seat name would show them more information about the seat (e.g. location, map).
  2. Some students want clarification that Seat Booking is for individual use only, especially in hoping to collaborate in study rooms or by booking adjacent seats with peers.
  3. The inability to bring food/drink (especially water) was the biggest deterrent to using Seat Booking. Students want to know if they can leave/return during their booked time slot. The second biggest deterrent to using Seat Booking was a long distance between the library and their living location.
  4. Students want clarification on when to use the check-in link (i.e. Do I check in when I arrive at the library, or at my desk?)
  5. While library services are desirable (e.g. printing, scanning, materials), none of the students cited a lack of services as a reason to not use Seat Booking.
  6. Students want library signage that reminded them of policies and procedures such as reminders on how to check in/out.


View Supporting Documents (HarvardKey Required)

Seat Booking Survey Results Report

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