The Charleston Library Conference is a beacon of knowledge and innovation, bringing together librarians, publishers, electronic resource managers, consultants, and vendors of library materials from around the world to tackle issues related to the acquisition, access, discovery, and preservation of library materials in both print and digital formats.

This year, EBSCO Vice President of Product Management Caroline Zappasodi co-presented with Acquisitions Librarian Damon Campbell (University of Oregon), Acquisitions Librarian/Classics Librarian Morag Stewart (University of Washington), and Acquisitions and Cataloging Assistant Beth Carmichael (Gettysburg College) in the session: Innovation, Partnership and Collaboration: Bringing a New Product to Life.

This cross-section of academic librarians, and product managers represent active participants of our “innovation partnership,” which was launched in January 2021 to bring a new product “Mosaic, by GOBI Library Solutions” to market. Mosaic is a new ordering platform that leverages modern technology to streamline workflows to make ordering library resources easy and intuitive for all.

Librarians are task focused and goal driven, and the fewer number of clicks and scrolls required to complete a task the better

Here are some key takeaways from the session:

  • Innovation is the key driver in the development of Mosaic. This platform is being built from the ground up and is designed to meet the emerging needs of libraries at a faster rate than other book acquisition solutions in the market at this time.
  • The backbone of the Mosaic design was conceived through three iterative, user-informed design phases.
  • The first user-informed design phase consisted of conducting a discovery and needs analysis that surfaced needs such as:
    • User Experience is important, modern platforms should be personalized and easy to use for everyone
    • Librarians work across multiple systems and User Interfaces when making selection and acquisitions decisions and need improved efficiency
    • Librarians are looking for more self-service functionality around ordering, reporting and approval workflows
  • The second user-informed design phase included design development and creating a prototype where innovation partners could offer feedback and provide positive and negative feedback to the initial design concepts. This iterative process included A/B and usability testing. Key takeaways from design testing were -
    • Librarians are task focused and goal driven, and the fewer number of clicks and scrolls required to complete a task the better
    • Users are looking for improved scan-ability of search results and purchase options, with ability to quickly compare in one view
    • Librarians expect a clean, modern interface with a process flow that is quick, efficient, and that can be customized
  • During the usability testing, innovation partners reacted positively to the clean, modern and organized look and feel of Mosaic and offered suggestions for improvement such as a prominent and easy-to-find search bar, left-aligned filters, removal of slider bars for improved accessibility and more. Further, usability testing identified areas of opportunity for additional research around navigation and accessibility

In the third phase, a beta was developed through an iterative process using hi-fi designs and consistently validating updates or changes with focus groups. This collaboration offered innovation partners a glimpse into the product development process, further reinforcing the value and importance of this partnership. Innovation partners also reflected on the lessons learned during this process and agreed that the iterative process of producing a prototype, testing it, tweaking it and repeating the cycle was a key factor in capturing market needs. Each partner felt that their voices were heard regardless of whether feedback was positive or negative. The open conversations and the collaborative environment allowed partners to share and reflect on workflows and acquisition practices and identify opportunities for improvement.

The beta release of Mosaic is slated for release in 2024. Keep an eye on our blog for future updates surrounding the release. If you are a GOBI customer you can also stay updated by signing up for our newsletter, GOBI 60 Second Update.

Stay updated by signing up for our newsletter, GOBI 60 Second Update.