How we got here
NoveList’s product development team speaks with customers quite often. We want to make it simple for readers to find their next read, and we want to make it easy for library employees to provide great service to readers. The only way to do that is to speak regularly with library staff and to be good library patrons ourselves.

During our conversations with library staff, we heard loud and clear that NoveList Select could use an update. Customers love our recommendations and series information, but they wanted the book jackets to be bigger and visible on all their patrons' devices. They truly valued our unique reasoning language, explaining why a reader will like a certain book. But they also wanted to see a brief description explaining what the book is about to make a fully informed choice.

Those we spoke with wanted a bigger, more modern display. But they also reiterated their libraries’ commitment to accessibility. Web experiences in libraries need to be available to anyone, from any device, and using any type of assistive technology.

Working together
Equipped with this knowledge, our team embarked on the adventure of re-designing the NoveList Select user experience. We worked with UX designers internally and vetted design concepts regularly with librarians on staff. We shared design concepts and early-stage prototypes with several customers to make sure that we were on the right track. Finally, we worked with some fantastic beta testers who got to test drive the experience early.

Each one of these steps ensured that we weren’t building in a vacuum. We designed the new look with libraries in mind, with help and input from the libraries we support.

An improved user experience
Many patrons have found a book in the online catalog that they're excited to check out, only to discover they're the 51st person in the holds line. Select turns this experience around, from one of disappointment to discovery.

For library users, the refreshed NoveList Select does an even better job of avoiding that dreaded dead-end search. The new layout offers more space for gorgeous book art so that some readers can truly “judge a book by its cover.” Readers can see the book description and the reason why they’ll enjoy the title, so they can make a quick decision about whether it’s something they want to read.

For library staff, the new look does a better job of highlighting the collection you’ve painstakingly built over years and decades. Our recommendations continue to take local collections into account, and the new look makes it easier to see what’s available for checkout.

We know libraries are committed to providing excellent customer service to their communities, and the changes we made to NoveList Select are very much in support of that goal.

We’d love to hear from you!

If you have ideas for how NoveList can work better with library staff, and readers more broadly, please reach out. We’d be happy to listen and learn about what is most important to you in your work.

Sam Stover is a Senior Product Manager at NoveList. He is currently reading Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley and David Kelley.