Opening What's Closed:Using Open Source Tools to Tear Down [Vendor] Silos<br />Ken Varnumvarnum@umich.edu<br />WiLSWorld21...
Outline<br />Challenges<br />Challenge Answered: Design<br />Challenge Answered: Technology <br />How We Break Down Silos<...
The challenges we faced<br />
Our Problem<br />
Our Problem<br />Catalog<br />Federated Search<br />Research Guides x 3<br />300+ database providers<br />Thousands of onl...
Information Not Location<br />Web Team charge: allow the Dean to find stuff more easily<br />A vehicle for a single identi...
Design Phase 1<br />
Phase I: The Band-Aid<br />Force the brand onto the site<br />Provide consistent navigation<br />Identify duplicated conte...
Data Gathering<br />Broad user survey<br />One question survey<br />Focus groups<br />Advisory groups<br />
Users Told Us<br /><ul><li>Wanted to know what was important
Did not want to know where to start: information, not location
Single interface & design would reduce confusion
No lists of links (except  faculty wanted a list of ejournals)</li></li></ul><li>Translation<br />Searching and browsing a...
Design Phase 2<br />
Visual Priorities<br />Provide a ubiquitous, persistent FIND function <br />Establish clear visual hierarchy<br />Make us ...
Visual Elements<br />Soft colors don’t compete with primary function <br />Regular rhythms help users anticipate – use a g...
Today’s Gateway<br />
INTEGRATION<br />
Putting the User First<br />Review what users told us:<br />Wanted librarians to tell them what was important<br />Wanted ...
Development Principles<br />We  open source software<br />Preference for building over buying<br />Trend toward customiza...
Ex Libris<br />Catalog (Aleph)<br />Federated Search (Metalib)<br />Link Resolver (SFX)<br />Largely closed systems<br />
VuFind<br />Open Source OPAC<br />Based on Solr<br />Largely open<br />
LibGuides<br />Moved subject content out of web site<br />Better presentation for our users without building a tool<br />S...
DSpace<br />Institutional Repository<br />Metadata<br />Somewhat open<br />
Drupal<br />Heart of the site<br />Biggest strength:  you can make it do anything<br />Biggest weakness:  you can make it ...
Apache Solr<br />Search (mostly) happens here<br />We index lots of data from lots of sources<br />But we aren’t building ...
Obligatory Data Flow Vision Test<br />
demonstration<br />
User testing and site revisions<br />
The road to Hell is paved with benign neglect.<br />-- Me<br />
A Year in Review<br />The punch list morphed into remodeling and redesign needs<br />Reacting to feedback<br />Conducting ...
Post Redesign: It Never Ends<br />Integrating other services & applications<br />Article Discovery is the 3rd leg of the s...
Gateway Page Layout<br />Participatory Design<br />Volunteers get print-out of gateway page<br />Circle things they like<b...
Suzanne Chapman, suzchap@umich.edu<br />
Suzanne Chapman, suzchap@umich.edu<br />
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Opening What's Closed: Using Open Source Tools to Tear Down [Vendor] Silos

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The University of Michigan Library's web site is a consistent, integrated front end on what was a collection of 19 distinctly different library sites and multiple library silos. The library's site now combines a variety of tools (including Drupal, VuFind, Springshare's LibGuides, Ex Libris's Metalib, DSpace, and Solr) within a single interface. In this talk, you will learn about the design process that informed the system architecture and the way we are using data from both open source and proprietary software to break down information silos. Presented at WiLSWOrld 2010 in Madison, Wisonsin

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  • This and following section based on slides created by Liene Karels, Director of Communications, University of Michigan Library
  • Opening What's Closed: Using Open Source Tools to Tear Down [Vendor] Silos

    1. 1. Opening What's Closed:Using Open Source Tools to Tear Down [Vendor] Silos<br />Ken Varnumvarnum@umich.edu<br />WiLSWorld21 July 2010<br />
    2. 2. Outline<br />Challenges<br />Challenge Answered: Design<br />Challenge Answered: Technology <br />How We Break Down Silos<br />Demonstration<br />Q&A<br />
    3. 3. The challenges we faced<br />
    4. 4. Our Problem<br />
    5. 5. Our Problem<br />Catalog<br />Federated Search<br />Research Guides x 3<br />300+ database providers<br />Thousands of online journals<br />Dozens of libraries<br />Can’t We All Just Get Along?<br />
    6. 6. Information Not Location<br />Web Team charge: allow the Dean to find stuff more easily<br />A vehicle for a single identity – the MLibrary brand<br />Provide a unified user experience<br />Platonic Ideal – Eliminate Silos<br />
    7. 7. Design Phase 1<br />
    8. 8. Phase I: The Band-Aid<br />Force the brand onto the site<br />Provide consistent navigation<br />Identify duplicated content<br />Practice the idea of thinking of ourselves as one<br />Reduced, but didn’t eliminate, heterogeneity of interface<br />
    9. 9.
    10. 10.
    11. 11. Data Gathering<br />Broad user survey<br />One question survey<br />Focus groups<br />Advisory groups<br />
    12. 12. Users Told Us<br /><ul><li>Wanted to know what was important
    13. 13. Did not want to know where to start: information, not location
    14. 14. Single interface & design would reduce confusion
    15. 15. No lists of links (except faculty wanted a list of ejournals)</li></li></ul><li>Translation<br />Searching and browsing are the most frequently sought functions: Find Bar<br />Building a single system – single visual, consistent services<br />Move to a content management system<br />Eliminate silos – our own and vendor’s<br />
    16. 16. Design Phase 2<br />
    17. 17. Visual Priorities<br />Provide a ubiquitous, persistent FIND function <br />Establish clear visual hierarchy<br />Make us look hip, clean, contemporary<br />Show off our treasures (they’re never seen!) <br />Tell our news <br />Reveal things that aren’t known about us <br />
    18. 18.
    19. 19. Visual Elements<br />Soft colors don’t compete with primary function <br />Regular rhythms help users anticipate – use a grid <br />Design philosophy – keep it simple <br />If the design is invisible, the design succeeds<br />
    20. 20.
    21. 21.
    22. 22.
    23. 23.
    24. 24. Today’s Gateway<br />
    25. 25. INTEGRATION<br />
    26. 26. Putting the User First<br />Review what users told us:<br />Wanted librarians to tell them what was important<br />Wanted easy starting poit<br />Wanted unified design<br />No lists of links*<br />Built site around search and browse<br />Used technology to beat silos into access<br />* Except faculty. They LOVE their A-Z online journals list<br />
    27. 27. Development Principles<br />We  open source software<br />Preference for building over buying<br />Trend toward customization of generic tool<br />We have in-house capability to customize<br />Drupal, VuFind, Solr<br />But use more than open source<br />Still live in a vendor-driven environment<br />Metalib, EZProxy, SFX, Aleph ILS <br />
    28. 28. Ex Libris<br />Catalog (Aleph)<br />Federated Search (Metalib)<br />Link Resolver (SFX)<br />Largely closed systems<br />
    29. 29. VuFind<br />Open Source OPAC<br />Based on Solr<br />Largely open<br />
    30. 30. LibGuides<br />Moved subject content out of web site<br />Better presentation for our users without building a tool<br />Still wanted to include in site search<br />Open data, not open application<br />
    31. 31. DSpace<br />Institutional Repository<br />Metadata<br />Somewhat open<br />
    32. 32. Drupal<br />Heart of the site<br />Biggest strength: you can make it do anything<br />Biggest weakness: you can make it do anything<br />Enables very complex data flows<br />Largely open<br />
    33. 33. Apache Solr<br />Search (mostly) happens here<br />We index lots of data from lots of sources<br />But we aren’t building an index of everything<br />VuFind<br />DSpace (“Deep Blue”)<br />
    34. 34. Obligatory Data Flow Vision Test<br />
    35. 35. demonstration<br />
    36. 36. User testing and site revisions<br />
    37. 37. The road to Hell is paved with benign neglect.<br />-- Me<br />
    38. 38. A Year in Review<br />The punch list morphed into remodeling and redesign needs<br />Reacting to feedback<br />Conducting usability work<br />
    39. 39. Post Redesign: It Never Ends<br />Integrating other services & applications<br />Article Discovery is the 3rd leg of the stool (web and catalog done)<br />Mobile interfaces<br />New User Experience Department just formed<br />
    40. 40. Gateway Page Layout<br />Participatory Design<br />Volunteers get print-out of gateway page<br />Circle things they like<br />X-out things they don’t like<br />Use post-its to add things that they want<br />Learned interesting things about what students & librarians value<br />Faculty study underway this term<br />
    41. 41. Suzanne Chapman, suzchap@umich.edu<br />
    42. 42. Suzanne Chapman, suzchap@umich.edu<br />
    43. 43. Suzanne Chapman, suzchap@umich.edu<br />
    44. 44. Q&A <br />Ken Varnum<br />Web Systems Manager<br />University of Michigan Library<br />varnum@umich.edu<br />@varnum<br />lib.umich.edu/users/varnum<br />

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