Morgan Holzer
Photo by Daniel Krieger.

Morgan Holzer

Information architect (NYPL)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Morgan Holzer, and I work for the New York Public Library (NYPL). I'm the Information Architect for the user experience team, which basically means that I try and make our website and other digital products work well for our patrons.

I often equate my job to that of a building architect — just like they need to make sure that the floors are sound and people can walk across without hitting beams, get to an elevator and push a button and when they get off they see what they expected to see, I have to make sure that if a patron is on our website, they can understand our navigational elements and when they get to a page all of the information they need is front and center.

I also run the Library's Instagram account.

What hardware do you use?

I have an HP EliteBook attached to a nice big HP monitor with an additional wireless Logitech keyboard and mouse combo. I have giant red headphones from Urban Beatz that dwarf my head but keep out noise nicely. And I use an iPhone 5 to shoot all of my Instagram photos.

I also use a lot of things you might find in an elementary school art class. Markers and Paper Mate Flair felt-tipped rainbow pens for color coding, children's craft scissors, string, sticky notes. A lot of what I do is very tactical. I'm a visual learner, so I like to print out things I'm working on and cut them up and re-organize them on my desk before making decisions.

I keep a lot of notes in journals from Ex Libris Anonymous. They are made out of old library books, which I get a kick out of; and they are good conversation starters in meetings. I write a lot in pencil, and the Paper Mate Pink Pearl eraser is sometimes my best friend.

And what software?

Desktop Rdio set to a random song station every morning means one day I'm listening to Pavarotti and the next it's rappers who sample 70s soul music. Almost all of my work ends up in some sort of Google Doc or Sheet.

I do a lot of testing for work, and use a lot of different software for that. Optimizely is my favorite for A/B and multivariate testing. I really like OptimalSort for online card sorting as well. SurveyMonkey is great for getting real-time feedback from Library staff and patrons, and I really love the filtering options in the admin. Some days I feel like I am knee-deep in Google Analytics for the site. I use Balsamiq for all of my wireframes. If you can get past the Comic Sans, the software is really easy and ideal for quick mock-ups. I also dabble in Photoshop, as well as Silverback for when I need some more in-depth one-on-one testing in the office.

I let Basecamp handle a lot of my freelance projects; and the Wunderlist app organizes things for me. I've been experimenting with Tapestry to find a new avenue to engage our patrons, and am in love with FiftyThree's Paper app. It is beautiful.

What would be your dream setup?

I'm actually pretty happy with my current setup. It would be great to have a bulletin board and a giant basket filled with colored push-pins. I keep saying I'm going to order a GoPro for recording spontaneous user testing. And I want a nice DSLR.