Case study

Portal will help users

Městská knihovna v Praze


general public, libraries


3 years

Number of people in the team


The idea of a single portal can be found in the Concept for development of libraries in the Czech Republic for the period 2011-2015. Its development is taken on by the Association of Czech Libraries with a consortium of libraries cooperating on its development. Technical development is facilitated by Moravian Library. How can one ensure a good result when so many subject cooperate on introducing a service for such a wide target group?

The form and functions of the portal were continuously developed and adapted, among other things, on the basis of findings from the user survey. Since September 2016, you can find the portal on

The procedure employed by the library

Users’ needs and needs of libraries

Libraries and users might have different ideas regarding the functionality of the constructed portal. The former have a task of creating content for the use of the latter, which is why it is important to bear in mind what the ideas of both groups are. The investigation of both groups was conducted in 2013. An external agency ppm factum approached a wide sample of users of various kinds of libraries with structured interviews. The inter-library investigation was realized by the Librarianship Institute of the National Library in a form of an online questionnaire. Both investigations were based on the documents provided by the working group of Central Portal of Libraries.

1601 users-responders

989 responses from libraries

Getting to know users in-depth

In 2014, agency Direct People has conducted a series of in-depth interviews with 23 respondents in order to get to know more about the user needs. The outcomes of these interviews were three basic personas and a number of incentive observations. The Central Portal of Libraries Council has therefore decided to continue the investigation. Another 10 emphatic interviews were conducted in the following year on 2 locations outside the capital. These interviews resulted into additional descriptions of the three original personas and dividing the persona of the scientist depending on his attitude towards digital technologies.

33 respondents

4 personas

- Marie who reads fiction

- Kristýna who is a student

- Petr who is a conservative scientist

- Adam who is a scientist with a positive attitude towards technology

Testing the prototype with users

Based on the interviews, Direct People created an overview of users’ requirements in the individual stages of working with the portal. It was possible to create a design of the website thanks to the personas and this overview. DP tested prototypes of screens in 2 rounds with 10 respondents in a round.

20 user tests of the prototype

A structured final report provides detailed introduction of requirements and suggestions for individual web pages.


Launching the portal

Graphic and UX design of the website was executed by the agency Proof & Reason in cooperation with Municipal Library in Prague and Moravian Library, which develops the portal. It was launched in the beginning of September 2016; the public will be informed of its existence in October 2016 with trainings about the use of portal for the library community taking place at the same time.

Keep in mind that...

  • Do not try to predetermine the number of personas and feel free to alter it in course of the process. If you encounter significantly different behavior or user needs in your research, you can add another persona.
  • Show the upcoming product or service to the users as soon as possible. User testing of the prototypes can help you to save time and energy that would be otherwise spent on realization of an unsuitable solution.

Methods used

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

When you need to process the data to create a prototypical user

When you want to find out what is the current state of your service

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