May 22, 2022

Conference Paper: Bridging the (Unit) Divide: Applying User Experience to a Discovery Layer

The following paper was presented on Thursday, August 17, 2017 at the IFLA 2017 Satellite Meeting: Reference and Information Services & Information Technology held at the University of Warsaw Library in Warsaw, Poland.

The 2017 IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) World Library and Information Congress is now underway in Wrocław, Poland.


Bridging the (Unit) Divide: Applying User Experience to a Discovery Layer


Rachel M. Minkin
Michigan St. University

Christine Tobias
Michigan St. University


via IFLA Library


Implementation of a discovery layer at the Michigan State University Libraries has been an experience in bridging a cultural divide between Public Services, Web Services, and Systems units. Without a comprehensive plan, the User Experience unit took the lead to support a user-centric culture and build trust while influencing design decisions for the successful launch of SearchPlus, our branded Summon 2.0 discovery layer. As a result, conversations between these units have become more engaged and productive. User experience activities continue to influence customization of SearchPlus to meet patrons’ needs, including a current campaign to launch a “bento box” for search results.

See Also: Conference Paper: “It Takes Two to Tango… Public Services and Information Technology Staff Collaborate to Launch a New Discovery System”

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.