UX and the Laptop Loan Service

To help understand why the Library Laptop Loan Service had performed poorly in the 2016 IS Student Survey, a User Experience analysis was carried at the end of February to measure the service. The findings were combined with data from the LMS (Voyager), Library Support Desk enquiries, and  technical information provided by User Platforms.


The UX analysis was designed by Angela Groth-Seary, Jon Peacock, Clare Bristow, and James Thompson. We agreed that a user journey based approach would be most appropriate.


The baseline measuring and UX exercise were carried out over a two week period between 20/02/2017 and 05/03/2017.


To evaluate how the users feel when using the service, a User Journey survey was compiled and users were asked to complete this when using the laptops. The form was inserted between the screen and keyboard of each laptop twice over the two week period, and the surveys were also available next to the loan cabinets. 16 students responded.

The form asked students to tick how they feel (happy, neutral, unhappy) during five occasions when using the service; borrowing the laptop, logging onto the laptop, using the laptop, logging off the laptop, returning the laptop. The user comments are detailed in the next section, and the table below indicates how many ticks were entered in each section, with the most ticked section in each row highlighted.


The following table details the responses that users provided.

Event Happy comments Neutral comments Unhappy comments
Borrow the laptop
  • No issue getting laptop from locker.
  • There was one for me.
  • Enough laptops for people to use.
  • Analysed the system as part of my HCI module. Improvements could make it much more straightforward.
  • The laptops are so bad, we spend 9k a year and can’t get laptops that don’t switch off.
  • From experience I know how unusable they can be. I only use them when I absolutely have to.


Log on
  • Usually have major problems logging on but seems ok, bit slow.
  • Decent load up time.
  • Very fast.
  • East laptops seem much speedier. Windows 10 build feels legitimate.


  • Sometimes logging in is not possible “logon server not available”.
  • Took some time.
  • Bit slow.
  • Wouldn’t log on, said something about ‘no servers available’.
  • It takes sooo long.


Use the laptop
  • Keyboard – perfect touch and feel, good design.
  • Moodle and Internet explorer working much quicker than normal.
  • Microsoft office works well and quickly.
  • A bit sluggish when scrolling through web PDFs.
  • Had to use edge as Chrome wouldn’t open.
  • Word wouldn’t open.
  • Excel wouldn’t open.
  • Had to print directly from Email.
  • Chrome keeps shutting down – not letting me open new pages.
  • Wouldn’t find my USB.
  • Chrome keeps crashing – awful experience.
  • Numlock should be off by default.
  • Number lock was on so when I typed M it came up as 0 and struggling to work out how to turn this off.
  • The laptop suddenly crashed and disconnected from the remote server. The IT guys were very helpful and it started working again but still an inconvenience.
  • Computer crashed saying disconnected from main PC.
  • Chrome wouldn’t load pages – saying it ran out of memory.
  • In general laptop works from for 1-2 hours every time then inevitably ‘crashes’ or I have to get a new one. Very frustrating. If certain programs or websites are opened such as email or google \drive the laptop will often crash immediately. We need better laptops if we are going to have so few computers.
  • When I logged on the screen was black – happened for three computers.
  • 🙁
  • :’-(



Log off
  • It shut down.
  • Very easy and quick.
  • Very slow logging out.
Return the laptop
  • Fine.
  • Returned the laptop.
  • Simple and clear.


The number of responses in each category were counted:

How do you feel when…? Happy ticks Neutral ticks Unhappy ticks total
You borrow the laptop 9 3 2 14
You log on 3 6 4 13
You use the laptop 10 0 18 28
You log off 5 6 1 12
You return the laptop 11 1 0 12


This table indicates that more comments are made about the experience when users are actually using the laptops, not when the borrow, logon, or return them. 18 of 28 comments about the laptop usage were negative.