Provide a fully-tested mock up for the attendance page that will be implemented in SignUp. 

The Problem

Librarians need a way to export accurate data for their annual report so they can justify more staff, more resources and more funding. 

That includes being able to take attendance electronically, customize the fields that matter to the library, look at trends from the data to better their programs and  export that data without having to use any external piece of software to make sense of the numbers. 

Tools we used


We set out to build a list of users who would be willing to help us test our ideas and get a sneak peek into what's coming for our products. We used MailChimp to build the list and communicate with our subscribers.

Sketching ideas

In order to build out our ideas we used Sketch App for Mac. It's quickly becoming the industry standard and it syncs nicely with Invision.

Testing ideas

Probably our most important tool was Invision. It allowed us to sync our wireframes to a system that links the images together, creating a fake interactive experience that our customers could comment on. Invaluable! 


To really discover the problem, we started by doing some customer interviews. We sent out an email to current customers and sent them to a Calendly link we set up that allowed them to pick a time to chat, based on both of our schedules. We recorded all the interviews (which are posted below) and put together a highlight video together that combines all the interviews into one place. 

We also did an audit of our existing feedback portal as well as interviewed members of our support team to get their perspective on what customers were asking for.  

customer interviews

We conducted our customer interviews over two weeks asking each interviewee the following questions: 

  1. How do you currently take attendance?
  2. What do you do with the data?
  3. What's the most time consuming part of your process? 
  4. If you had a magic wand what would attendance look like? 

feedback audit (quotes pulled from feedback portal)

Is there a way to exclude people who cancel their registration from an attendance report in SignUp? As of now all I’m able to do is run an attendance report with the status field included and then manually remove the cancellations.
— Amy Franco | Adult Programming Librarian
Folks are looking for a place to track usage of the meeting rooms in Spaces with regard to # of attendees. Currently they simply jot down the number on the sheet they’ve been using to book the rooms. Once we migrate to spaces – those sheets will no longer be necessary if we can find a way to track attendance. Any ideas?
— Wayne Waibel

Support Team Interview with Chad, Jared & Brandon

Things that are confusing:

  • Transfer patron workflow
    • Ugly un-styled popup window confuses patrons 
    • When the calendar pops up for a librarian to select an event to transfer the patron to, it doesn't have any instruction/prompting. Librarians are confused about this initially. 
  • "Status" option does not display the current status, but instead displays the assumed next status. This is confusing for users. 
  • Can't view group during registration (possible in Events) 

Can librarians get their annual statistics (per adult, teen, child, etc.) by running one report?

  • No, not possible at all. There is no separation into specific groups. 

Questions from librarians:

  • Can we setup a kiosk for attendance? 
  • Can we stake attendance from an iPad? 
  • Can patrons log attendance from the patron side calendar? 

Data Synthesis meeting | March 24th 2015

Executive Summary or Results

After interviewing 7 current customers from 5 libraries, consulting with the support team, and conducting an audit of internal feedback resources we have identified how libraries are currently taking attendance at their events and what data they are collecting, as well as pain points and opportunities for improvement.

While there was no exact consensus between libraries on what data was collected at events, we did identify the most common cases for attendance. Collecting attendance by age group was by far the most common method.

Aside from attendance, libraries also collect a wide variety of event data (notes, training hours, event cost etc.) We noticed a tendency for larger libraries to require more complex data than smaller libraries.

There was some consensus around how different libraries used this data, most that we talked to had yearly and monthly reports run for various purposes.  Annual state reporting was consistently mentioned. The complexity of creating these reports was indicated as a major pain point for our customers. These state reports contain the same information state to state, therefore we could ensure that the data is easy to retrieve from our system with minimal “manipulation”.

All interviewees described how data is used internally to inform budget and program development decisions.  

We identified many common pain points, mostly tracing back to the attendance collecting and reporting process having too many unnecessary steps. Many customers require attendance data to be broken down by age group for state reporting purposes.

SignUp currently does not support statistical input for attendance which has prevented customers from switching to the new system, or forced them to record their data via intranet forms or excel documents, therefore bypassing our product entirely.

Events customers report utilizing every available custom field to keep track of important event data, even though the fields may not have been designed for that purpose. (Using the notes field to record # of staff, or training hours etc.)

Libraries are using attendance and event data for many different purposes and there are ample opportunities to support them in making more data driven decisions as well as presenting data in more useful and engaging ways.

Pain Points

  • Going to multiple places to find information for monthly and annual reports

    "I just want to see us not have to go to two and three different products to get these numbers. I don't want to have to use the intranet and pull things into Excel"

    "It's in my best interest if we can automate this, so that we can just run a report at the end of the month rather than people having to plug this into a spreadsheet."
  • Lack of statistical input prevents customers from switching to SignUp 

    "We're not in the new system yet, we were ready to do it, but we discovered it would destroy our monthly report because it didn't have enough statistical input"     
  • There is no easy way to use the software to take attendance DURING an event

    "I would love to have a mobile device with a quick link to access each program. From there, I could either stand in the back of the room, count attendees, and enter the number based on the age criteria. Or I could check off with a simple touch of their name, who was there and who wasn't for registered programs."

    “Something thats in the attendance keeping where we could have a laptop with us in a program and do it in real time”


  • Having a mobile interface for attendance sheet will greatly increase the likelihood that attendance will be taken during an event, therefore skipping the paper logging step.
  • The current system of marking only absences on the attendance page doesn’t represent how librarians are currently taking attendance. We recommend that users be able to access a list of attendees and mark ‘present’ or ‘absent’ as they walk in.

  • Taking specific information required for state reporting available as easy as possible to export is “the holy grail”

  • Consider separating the concept of attendance from other program statistics and allowing users to heavily customize the program statistics fields. 

  • Consider making Adult/Teen/Child groups could be standard attendance fields in Signup, but users could control subgroups, for example, within the ‘Adults’ group, teachers can be a subgroup. 

Attendance Data Collected at Library Programs


The four quadrants of the chart above illustrate all of the ways that librarians we talked to are currently taking attendance at library programs. Some libraries may utilize multiple methods depending on the program type.

We have determined that  tracking attendance by age group is a must have for our audience. This means that both general headcount and specific attendee with no age group alone are undesirable options.

Of the 5 libraries we talked to 

  • 3 collected the registrants name at registered events
  • 1 did a headcount by age group at registered events 
  • 1 collected a general headcount at registered events

Library Program/Attendance Data Required by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (State Report)

IMLS runs a voluntary survey for public libraries each year. These statistics are used to determine eligibility for State Aid to Public Libraries. The states and territories provide the same information to IMLS each year although some states/territories ask more of their public libraries than asked by IMLS.

Program Data*

  • Total Number of Library Programs
    • Onsite or offsite programs sponsored or cosponsored by library

    • Count each program in a series

    • Programs sponsored by other groups but hosted in the library don’t count

  • Number of Children’s Programs

    • Onsite or offsite programs sponsored or cosponsored by library

    • Count each program in a series

    • Programs sponsored by other groups but hosted in the library don’t count

  • Number of Young Adult Program

    • Onsite or offsite programs sponsored or cosponsored by library

    • Count each program in a series

Attendance Data*

  • Total Attendance at Library Programs
    • Total count of the audience at all library programs during the reporting period
  • Children’s Program Attendance

    • ncludes all programs for which the primary audience is children 11 years and under

    • Attendance broken down by # of children and # of adults

  • Young Adult Program Attendance

    • ncludes all programs for which the primary audience is young adults 12 to 18 years and includes 18 year olds

    • Attendance broken down by # of Young Adults and # of Adults


  • Libraries are using attendance and census data for identifying trends and potential growth  
    "We’ve always had a strong children’s program but we are trying to branch out into more teen and adult, so boy if we could get data to link that that would really facilitate us in determining where we can expect to see growth, where the valuable input of our resources would be.”
  • Everyone expressed interest in using data internally to improve program development on both staff and management levels
    • ost libraries collect feedback via paper post event, this data is used by programming librarians and programmers
      "If, after the event, an automatic short survey could be sent to the attendees reminding them to say whether they attended and asking them to briefly evaluate their experience, that would be awesome and then it would be more helpful to know the demographics of respondents."
    • Using data to compare program success overtime to justify budget requests
      "We had this series of programs, what was the attendance like, how many staff, how many volunteers?”  “Was output better than input in that case?”  
  • Making it easier for staff to use the data  
    "I think if the staff had access to that information it would be valuable. I think the way we’re structured at this time it would probably used mostly by management,  I would like to see that expanded out beyond that. The staff members are the ones developing the programs."
    • Enhance visual representation of data for easy digestibilit

Design kickoff meeting paper mockups | April 7th 2015