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Tuesday, October 28 • 3:45pm - 5:15pm
A User-Centered Approach to Designing Digital Library Applications + A Simple Approach to a Complicated Problem – Open Folklore Portal UX Improvements

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A User-Centered Approach to Designing Digital Library Applications

Community Notes
As at other institutions, the range of web applications we develop and support at Stanford University Libraries is growing, as is the audience for those applications. In addition to our library website and online library catalog, in recent years we've added applications for multimedia archives, self-deposit for scholarly resources, discovery of complex geographic data, and self-service digital exhibits. Expanding our range of online offerings certainly enables us to better expose and share the rich collections in our digital repository, but it also brings new challenges. How can designers ensure an institution's growing array of digital library applications provide users of those applications with consistent, enjoyable, and successful experiences?

While best practices from the larger user experience community are an important foundation, we've found that digital library content, and the faculty, students, and librarians who are the main audience for that content, have unique characteristics that must be considered in the design process. Using examples from recent development efforts, we'll illustrate our unique approach to incorporating domain-specific considerations into the user discovery, information architecture, and interaction and visual design phases of our process.

Designers of institutional-based digital library applications have to consider not only the expected end-users of the applications we design, but also a varied set of interested stakeholders. Collection donors, librarians responsible for digital collections, and those concerned with branding and identity at the institution all have an interest in the products we develop. We'll describe how we consider varied stakeholder needs and share our strategies for seeking stakeholder feedback throughout the design and development process.

Finally, we'll conclude this session by briefly describing how the design process and the designer are integrated into our agile development process. We'll also address how Stanford has deployed its user-centered design process to kick-start a variety of community-based open source projects.

Session Leaders
Gary Geisler, Stanford University
Jennifer Vine, Stanford University


A Simple Approach to a Complicated Problem – Open Folklore Portal UX Improvements

Open Folklore, a partnership of the American Folklore Society and the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries, is a scholarly communications effort to make a greater number and variety of useful resources available to folklorists. 

The Open Folklore portal http://openfolklore.org provides a search of open access Folklore repositories and journals. The portal also serves as a primary outlet for the group’s educational and advocacy mission. Last year, as part of an upgrade to the website portal software, the Open Folklore team took the opportunity to make improvements to the portal’s user experience.

Some of the methods used to improve user experience were: moving beyond a text based approach to a more graphics-based approach; breaking down larger ideas into smaller parts; changing the tone from academic to semi-academic; and emphasizing important concepts to accommodate different levels of engagement. 

The presentation reports on lessons learned from the process and results of user testing and surveys of members of the American Folklore Society.

Session Leader
Garett Montanez, Indiana University



Gary Geisler

UX Designer, Stanford University

Garett Montanez

Indiana University

Jennifer Vine

UX Designer, Stanford Libraries

Tuesday October 28, 2014 3:45pm - 5:15pm EDT
Salons 4,5,6 Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center

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