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FLASH BUILD:
UNDERSTANDING
SHAKESPEARE
October 21, 2014
Eric Johnson, Folger Shakespeare Library
Alex Humphreys, ITHAKA
Su...
You have an idea.
How can you find out if
it’s worthwhile as quickly
and cheaply as possible?
This is how Folger and JSTOR...
FOLGER
HOLDINGS
The Folger’s collection contains the
world’s largest and most important
collection of Shakespeare-related
...
PRIMARY
SOURCES
In most cases, the Folger has the
first printed editions of
Shakespeare’s works.
In their original form, t...
FOLGER
EDITIONS
The best-selling editions of Shakespeare in
North America.
Contains the complete works, along with
glosses...
FOLGER
DIGITAL
TEXTS
An electronic version of the
Folger Editions texts that is free
for non-commercial use.
Available in ...
JOURNAL
The foremost journal in its field,
Shakespeare Quarterly has been
published since 1950 and is part
of JSTOR.
What if Shakespeare Quarterly could
cross-reference quotations in the
Folger Editions?
How can we find out as quickly and
...
THEPARTNERSHIP
Folger Shakespeare Library
• Folger Digital Texts
• Shakespeare Quarterly
• Scholars and students
Objective...
LABS
A new team at ITHAKA
Mission: to seek out new concepts and
opportunities, to refine and to
validate them through rese...
WHAT’S A FLASH BUILD*?
Like a flash mob,
but with coders
Time-bound,
usually one week
Team collocated
No distractions
Dail...
THE FINISHED PRODUCT
http://labs.jstor.org/shakespeare
HOW WE
GOT THERE
Prior to the Flash Build:
1. Interviews with scholars
2. Create the data & infrastructure
During the Flas...
1. INTERVIEWS
Exploratory interviews with
Shakespeare scholars and students
Example questions:
Tell me about a time when i...
2. CREATE THE DATA
& INFRASTRUCTURE
Exploration informed in part
by interviews with scholars
Selected candidate articles f...
3. DESIGN JAM
Organized brainstorming
Began with “personas” that
were based on initial
interviews
Objective: design as man...
4. PAPER
PROTOTYPES
Inspired by the design jam
Used to test wildly divergent
directions
Users “click” with their finger
Te...
5. LOW-FI
PROTYPES
Used to refine ideas before
building
Test multiple approaches to the
same idea
6. DESIGNED
SITE!
A live data, high-fidelity
prototype, which has been
validated by users
A little visual design goes a
lo...
THANK YOU
Eric Johnson
Director of Digital Access
Folger Shakespeare Library
http://www.folger.edu
@osshakespeare
eric.joh...
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Flash Build: Understanding Shakespeare - ITHAKA Sustainable Scholarship 2014

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This presentation was a partnership between Folger Shakespeare Library and JSTOR Labs, describing and presenting Understanding Shakespeare (http://labs.jstor.org/shakespeare), including the innovative "flash build" method of building it, in which the bulk of the work to complete the site was done in one week.

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Flash Build: Understanding Shakespeare - ITHAKA Sustainable Scholarship 2014

  1. 1. FLASH BUILD: UNDERSTANDING SHAKESPEARE October 21, 2014 Eric Johnson, Folger Shakespeare Library Alex Humphreys, ITHAKA Sustainable Scholarship 2014
  2. 2. You have an idea. How can you find out if it’s worthwhile as quickly and cheaply as possible? This is how Folger and JSTOR did it.
  3. 3. FOLGER HOLDINGS The Folger’s collection contains the world’s largest and most important collection of Shakespeare-related materials. It also has a vast array of other rare books, manuscripts, and works of art.
  4. 4. PRIMARY SOURCES In most cases, the Folger has the first printed editions of Shakespeare’s works. In their original form, they are not always palatable for modern audiences.
  5. 5. FOLGER EDITIONS The best-selling editions of Shakespeare in North America. Contains the complete works, along with glosses and explanatory materials. Some plays are available as audio recordings, and the first Kindle versions are now for sale.
  6. 6. FOLGER DIGITAL TEXTS An electronic version of the Folger Editions texts that is free for non-commercial use. Available in HTML, XML, and PDF formats. Coming soon in MS Word and plain ASCII.
  7. 7. JOURNAL The foremost journal in its field, Shakespeare Quarterly has been published since 1950 and is part of JSTOR.
  8. 8. What if Shakespeare Quarterly could cross-reference quotations in the Folger Editions? How can we find out as quickly and cheaply as possible?
  9. 9. THEPARTNERSHIP Folger Shakespeare Library • Folger Digital Texts • Shakespeare Quarterly • Scholars and students Objective: demonstrate the value of Folger Digital Texts to scholars and students and demonstrate how it can be cross-referenced with Shakespeare Quarterly. JSTOR • The full archive run of SQ • 2000+ other journals • A newly-formed Labs team Objective: validate the value of using a primary text as a portal into secondary literature.
  10. 10. LABS A new team at ITHAKA Mission: to seek out new concepts and opportunities, to refine and to validate them through research and experimentation. Among our methods: Flash Builds (or a version of them)
  11. 11. WHAT’S A FLASH BUILD*? Like a flash mob, but with coders Time-bound, usually one week Team collocated No distractions Daily access to end users * We first heard of Flash Builds from Marty Cagan, describing the work of the Nordstrom Innovation Lab. You can see an example of that work here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szr0ezLyQHY
  12. 12. THE FINISHED PRODUCT http://labs.jstor.org/shakespeare
  13. 13. HOW WE GOT THERE Prior to the Flash Build: 1. Interviews with scholars 2. Create the data & infrastructure During the Flash Build (w/c Sep 29) 3. Design Jam 4. Paper prototypes 5. Low-fi prototypes 6. Working site Interviews with scholars and students every day
  14. 14. 1. INTERVIEWS Exploratory interviews with Shakespeare scholars and students Example questions: Tell me about a time when it was fast and easy to make connections between a play and what’s been written about it. If you had a magic wand to make it easier to make it easier go between the play and what’s written about it, what would you do? Conducted in person or over Skype Entire team participates
  15. 15. 2. CREATE THE DATA & INFRASTRUCTURE Exploration informed in part by interviews with scholars Selected candidate articles first by a Topic Model and then by full text search Quote-matches found by fuzzy- text-matching the candidate articles with the Folger digital text Skeleton site created { "quotes": [{ "is_match": true, "lines": [79, 81], "matched_line_numbers": ["5.1.37", "5.1.41"], "bounding_box": [1322, 6998, 4405, 4681], "matched_text": "fie my lord fie a soldier and afeard what need we fear who knows it when none can call our power to account yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him", "quoted_text": " Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier and afear'd? What need we fear? Who knows it, when none can call our pow'r to accompt? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?", "page": 3, "mismatch_ratio": 0.016853932584269662 } ], "id": "10.2307/2871155" }
  16. 16. 3. DESIGN JAM Organized brainstorming Began with “personas” that were based on initial interviews Objective: design as many means of solving this problem for these people Two rounds. On the second round, steal other people’s ideas! Best with a diverse set of participants
  17. 17. 4. PAPER PROTOTYPES Inspired by the design jam Used to test wildly divergent directions Users “click” with their finger Test as many as possible, as quickly as possible!
  18. 18. 5. LOW-FI PROTYPES Used to refine ideas before building Test multiple approaches to the same idea
  19. 19. 6. DESIGNED SITE! A live data, high-fidelity prototype, which has been validated by users A little visual design goes a long way Lots and lots of good ideas are put aside to get working software in this timeframe!
  20. 20. THANK YOU Eric Johnson Director of Digital Access Folger Shakespeare Library http://www.folger.edu @osshakespeare eric.johnson@folger.edu ________________________ Alex Humphreys AVP, Labs and New Business Development ITHAKA http://labs.jstor.org @abhumphreys alex.humphreys@ithaka.org

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