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User-Centered Design and Data Visualization Techniques to Reimagine Digital Scholarly Monographs

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Monographs are increasingly making the print-to-digital shift that journals started twenty years ago, yet many of the popular platform options for accessing scholarly books simply mirror the existing discovery structure for journals: books are presented as a sequential list of “journal article”-sized chapter files for downloading, a practice that “journal”-izes the book and arguably fails to take full advantage of the rich long-form argument that unfolds across chapters.
JSTOR Labs, an experimental platform development group, convened at Columbia University a group of scholars, librarians, and publishers in October 2016. Together, they tackled this design question: if we applied data visualization and design thinking techniques to the existing corpus of digitized monograph files, how could we improve the discovery and user experience for scholars, students, and general readers? Over the course of two months, we conducted an ideation workshop with the scholars, librarians, and publishers; tested sketches of various ideas with more scholars to decide which concept to pursue; iteratively refined and tested alternate design ideas with increasing fidelity over time; wrote a whitepaper about our findings; and completed a working prototype during a “flash build” that aims to help users currently assess the relevance of books to their research and quickly navigate to the relevant parts.
This cross-/multi-/inter-/trans- disciplinary digital scholarship project presented many design challenges and opportunities. The bulk of the presentation will focus on the design principles and the lean, user-oriented product design processes used to carry one of the product ideas through from concept to working prototype. We will show how design activities and principles proved indispensable in the quick and lean creation of a useful, quality product. There will also be a demonstration of the Topicgraph prototype that was created in November.

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User-Centered Design and Data Visualization Techniques to Reimagine Digital Scholarly Monographs

  1. 1. USER-CENTERED DESIGN AND DATA VISUALIZATION TECHNIQUES TO REIMAGINE DIGITAL SCHOLARLY MONOGRAPHS jessica.keup@ithaka.org Jessica Keup, JSTOR Labs Converge 2017: Disciplinarities and Digital Scholarship June 2, 2017
  2. 2. ITHAKA is a not-for-profit organization that helps the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. JSTOR is a not-for- profit digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. Ithaka S+R is a not-for- profit research and consulting service that helps academic, cultural, and publishing communities thrive in the digital environment. Portico is a not-for-profit preservation service for digital publications, including electronic journals, books, and historical collections. Artstor provides 2+ million high- quality images and digital asset management software to enhance scholarship and teaching.
  3. 3. JSTOR Labs works with partner publishers, libraries and labs to create tools for researchers, teachers and students that are immediately useful – and a little bit magical.
  4. 4. labs.jstor.org/monograph REIMAGINING THE MONOGRAPH
  5. 5. HOW WE DID IT
  6. 6. WORKING RAPIDLY Can we improve the experience and value of long-form scholarship? Aug-Sep: User Research Oct: Workshop Nov: Build Prototype Dec: Release Paper/Prototype
  7. 7. USER RESEARCH
  8. 8. USER RESEARCH USE CASE FINDINGS extracting specific information citation mining reusing or revisiting a text immersive reading
  9. 9. WORKSHOP
  10. 10. WORKSHOP TAKEAWAYS 1. Great writing 2. ‘Scholarly Kindle’ 3. Content assessment 4. Quick navigation to point of interest 5. Larger scholarly conversation. 6. ‘Flip’ between digital sections 7. Simultaneous print/digital work 8. ‘Netflix experience’ between devices 9. Digital annotations 10.Collaborative annotations 11.Serendipitous discovery 12.Open and flexible files
  11. 11. PROTOTYPING
  12. 12. WHAT WE MADE
  13. 13. labs.jstor.org/topicgraph TOPICGRAPH Understand at a glance the topics covered in a book. Jump straight to pages about topics you’re researching.
  14. 14. Topicgraph of: Digital Humanities Anne Burdick MIT Press, 2012.
  15. 15. POSSIBLE NEXT STEPS
  16. 16. THE “BOOK AS GATEWAY”
  17. 17. THE “BOOK DASHBOARD”
  18. 18. THE “SCHOLARLY READER”
  19. 19. THE “CITATION MIXER”
  20. 20. WHITE PAPER Describing the project, process, prototype and the principles to consider when reimagining the monograph labs.jstor.org/monograph
  21. 21. Thank you Jessica Keup User Experience Prototyper, JSTOR Labs ITHAKA http://labs.jstor.org @jaithica jessica.keup@ithaka.org

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