Appreciative Inquiry, User Experience, Libraries, UX

Document Type

Contribution to Book


Information Literacy | Library and Information Science


Two people can view the same thing—the same data, issue, or set of circumstances—and discover different opportunities because of their unique perspectives. Sometimes when we engage in User Experience (UX) work, we uncover a problem or an unmet user need, and the way forward is unclear. At this point, it can be beneficial to pull together a group of people in your library who work in different departments and have various roles; the best ideas often emerge when we gather diverse viewpoints.

Simply talking about the issue is not usually effective, but numerous facilitation techniques can help lead groups from insight to action. I have often used elements of design thinking in my approach to leading groups through this exploration. Recently I have also found value in using elements of Appreciative Inquiry, and I facilitated a workshop on this technique for UXLibsV.

Appreciative Inquiry is an approach co-created by David Cooperrider and his colleagues from Case Western Reserve University in the 1980s (Hammond, 2013: 5). As Cooperrider and Whitney (2005: 15) note, practitioners have defined Appreciative Inquiry in different ways. I describe Appreciative Inquiry as an approach to organizational change that is generative, builds on core strengths, and is solutions-oriented. Appreciative Inquiry can complement design thinking and other UX methodologies, and practitioners can modify elements to fit a variety of purposes.


Citation: Meyer, K. (2020). From insight to action with Appreciative Inquiry. In A. Priestner (Ed.), User experience in libraries yearbook 2019 (pp. 106-114). UXLibsV: London, U.K.