#SwatStudySpot Project Wrap-up

This was an informative, fun, study with which to begin our year last fall. We invited students to fill out a brief form and upload a photograph of their favorite study spot in answer to our research question: What kinds of spaces help Swarthmore students focus on and accomplish their academic work?

The following preferences emerged:

  • Natural light (but even bright, interior lighting is better than darker spaces)
  • Expansive views – both interior views and views to the outdoors
  • Access to the outdoors and outdoor study spaces in good weather
  • Noise level preferences on a continuum from quiet spaces without any distractions to spaces with a low hum of activity, all the way to active, noisier spaces

Proximity to one’s dorm, options for food, and electrical outlets are preferred, as well as some things that are difficult to control – like the temperature of the room. (Thank you Underhill mezzanine for being “always warm when I’m cold.”)

UX Interns noted that study space preferences may shift over the course of a semester and depend on what kind of work they are trying to accomplish.

And an important thing I learned (which should not have surprised me) is the excellence of Swarthmore student photographers.

Sunlight illuminating interior study space in Singer Hall
Photo by Shuhao Ren, ’27
3rd floor lounge in McCabe looking out over the balcony to Parrish lawn and Clothier Tower
Photo by Emily Dong, ’27