You will need

script for the testing of engagement with the service


at least one day


at least 2 mystery shoppers


3 – requires experienced researchers and a lot of time for preparations and realization

Use when...

  • you need to test your staff’s treatment of users
  • you want to find out what user’s impressions of the library space are
  • you want to find out the degree of difficulty in customer’s engagement with the service

Do not use when...

  • you want to go through the library with the user (for this purpose, try Shadowing instead)
  • you need to conduct an internal research between your employees


  1. Think about which service do you want to test.
  2. Consider how accurate results do you need - based on which decide the number of mystery visits.
  3. Do not forget to tell your colleagues that there will be a mystery shopping in the future, however, do not tell them the exact time or form of the mystery shopping. In a team, you should agree on why do you do mystery shopping and what is its purpose.
  4. Prepare the scripts for mystery shoppers and introduce them to the environment of the given institution.
  5. Mystery shopper follows the script, taking on a role of a regular user.
  6. Mystery shopper will write a detailed account of his/her experience during the visit - that is supposed to include descriptions of situations, overall impression, and evaluation of staff.
  7. Get your colleagues acquainted with the results of mystery shopping in order to discuss them. 

Keep in mind that...

  • the larger the number of mystery shoppers is, the more accurate the results are
  • the staff might perceive the failure to inform about prospective mystery shopping very negatively
  • mystery shopper must be observant while inconspicuous

Find out more

In the exploring phase, you can use the following methods…

Desk Research

When you need to quickly obtain valuable information

When you need to collect a lot of opinions in a short time

When you need a quick feedback

Download the book Service Design in Libraries

It includes detailed descriptions of case studies from both the Czech Republic and Norway.

Download the book  

Get the design methods card set

You will always have a ready help, which will tell you how to proceed, and which tools to prepare.

Get the card set