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LSE Digital Library: How it was Done

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Presentation given to UCL Department of Information Studies and UCL Centre for Digital Humanities students on 29 November 2011.

An overview of the strategic context and business case for LSE Digital Library with a focus on the user interface design process.

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LSE Digital Library: How it was Done

  1. 1. Ed Fay Digital Library Manager [email_address] @digitalfay LSE Digital Library: How it was Done
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Background to LSE Digital Library </li></ul><ul><li>Business case </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Front-end (digital.library.lse.ac.uk) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Testing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Next steps </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>
  3. 3. Mission/Strategy <ul><li>“ Build and preserve distinctive collections to support research and learning, and represent a record of thought in the social sciences” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Develop our digital library so that we are able to acquire, preserve and provide access to digital collections which match the strength of our print collections” </li></ul><ul><li>“… information repository services to support new forms of scholarly communication and enable the School to manage, disseminate and preserve these intellectual assets” </li></ul>
  4. 4. BORN-DIGITAL ARCHIVES INSTITUTIONAL REPOSITORY FUTURE... OFFICIAL PUBLICATIONS DIGITISATION
  5. 5. Business Case <ul><li>Collections audit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formats, volume/growth </li></ul></ul><ul><li>User and functional requirements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation, access </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technical options (‘market survey’) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Repository architectures, best practice investigation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Proposal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk assessment (DRAMBORA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functional solution, including costings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development roadmap </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Business Case: Risk <ul><li>Digital Repository Audit Method Based on Risk Assessment (DRAMBORA) </li></ul><ul><li>http://repositoryaudit.eu/ </li></ul><ul><li>Risk categories: </li></ul><ul><li>Collection degradation or loss </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced availability of content to users </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of trust or reputation </li></ul><ul><li>Risk causes, lack of: </li></ul><ul><li>Unified collection management/preservation activity </li></ul><ul><li>Staff time and skills </li></ul><ul><li>Technical infrastructure, investment in development </li></ul>
  7. 7. Business Case: Solution <ul><li>Phased development of technical infrastructure, staff skills </li></ul>
  8. 8. Design principles <ul><li>Flexible—we can hold a range of different types of digital collection </li></ul><ul><li>Extensible—we can adapt to changing collections and user requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Modular—we can replace components without disrupting other functions </li></ul>
  9. 9. Technical Architecture
  10. 10. Front-end: How it was done <ul><li>Technical and functional requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Tendering, supplier selection </li></ul><ul><li>Design process </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Launch/go-live </li></ul>
  11. 11. Front-end: Design process <ul><li>Stakeholder workshop </li></ul><ul><li>Information architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Wireframe models </li></ul><ul><li>Concept development </li></ul><ul><li>Review/amends </li></ul><ul><li>Sign-off </li></ul><ul><li>Technical production </li></ul><ul><li>Review/amends </li></ul><ul><li>Sign-off </li></ul>
  12. 12. Front-end: Mind-map <ul><li>Benefits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support research/teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase use of collections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build profile of LSE/Library </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Users </li></ul><ul><li>students (UG/PGT/PGR), staff (academic/research/teaching/support), visitors, alumni, external students, family/local historians, members of public, commercial users, media, school teachers, other information pros, biographers, depositors/donors, prospective staff/students, funders, picture researchers, competitors </li></ul><ul><li>Content, collections </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowns (now) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unknowns (future) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Front-end: Mind-map <ul><li>Functional </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collate and share </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quick and advanced search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Categories for browsing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of entry points </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Operational </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Audience discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Controlled admin burden </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Creative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand, reputation/authority </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Front-end: Personae <ul><li>Undergrad, researcher, lecturer, journalist, public policy adviser </li></ul><ul><li>Questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How find the digital library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 features/functions/content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What info on the homepage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will they contribute content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important messages re Library/LSE </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Front-end: Information Architecture
  16. 16. Front-end: Wireframe models <ul><li>Prototyping tool </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive models </li></ul><ul><li>Review/amends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Testing session </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stakeholder interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Total of 5 iterations </li></ul>
  17. 17. Front-end: Wireframe models
  18. 18. Front-end: Concept (visual design) <ul><li>Mood boards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference material, design examples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Modern Editorial’, ‘Real-world’, ‘Cutting-edge function’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Design concept </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mock-ups of 2-3 homepages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Review/amends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stakeholder interaction </li></ul></ul>
  19. 22. Strong branding Brief welcome Routes in for different users Subtle colour coding Always-there quick search Regularly updated collections showcase Promotional features and content Latest news
  20. 23. Filter and drill down on the left Central interface to the library Ability to see different views Space for further visualisations in the future Focuses the mind on the data
  21. 24. Front-end: Production/Implementation <ul><li>Production </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sign-off info architecture / visual design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confirm technical requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Produce XHTML/CSS/JS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review/amend </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Implementation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build on Digital Library back-end APIs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Persistent URL structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Testing, testing, testing… </li></ul></ul>
  22. 25. Front-end: Testing <ul><li>Focus on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation (discovery/use journeys) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search (retrieval accuracy) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Item-level functionality (e.g. page-turner) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Testing audiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal technical team (5 people) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal stakeholder group (c.20) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UCLDIS students (c.60) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All Library staff (c.100) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other externals (unknown) </li></ul></ul>
  23. 26. Front-end: Testing 1 - Internal <ul><li>Headlines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Page-turner: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consistency of modes (1up/2up) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Available functionality – duplication/missing functions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listing page: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Facets (need more control to add/remove) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Requirement to add keyword/search within results </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Need for contextual help and detailed support pages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Request for bookmarks/ ‘curated highlights’ </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 27. Front-end: Testing 1 - Internal <ul><li>What we changed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Page-turner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Used same mode throughout, except on explicit change </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Removed redundant functions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Added ability to navigate onwards from the page-turner </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listing page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More facet functionality (list contraction, remove facets) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Planned a review of tooltips </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Started to review support/FAQ pages </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 28. Front-end: Testing 2 - UCLDIS <ul><li>Headlines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Page-turner: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Getting ‘stuck’ in full-screen mode </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of focus in grouping functionality </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>General glitches/bugs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Suggestions of support page/FAQ content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Necessity of explaining advanced functionality </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Requirement for contact information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Details </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mostly to do with the page-turner </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 29. Front-end: Testing 2 - UCLDIS <ul><li>What we did </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Page-turner: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Completely redesigned the interface </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New visual design, IA review </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporated suggestions of topics into support/FAQ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Made support link prominent in full-screen page-turner </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Further work on tooltips to align with support pages </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 32. Front-end: Testing 2 - UCLDIS <ul><li>Positive comments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“visually restful” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“for the record – I really like this site” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“sync manuscript – cool!” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Negative comments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“stable viewer would enhance the user experience” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“hate getting stuck” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“frustrating when I get stuck” </li></ul></ul>
  28. 33. Next steps… <ul><li>Launch/go-live January 2012 </li></ul><ul><li>Functional iterations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UI tweaks (things we learnt in testing but haven’t been able to implement yet) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation metadata and tools </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Migration of existing collections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workflows for born-digital </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Staff development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New skills for digital world </li></ul></ul>
  29. 34. Ed Fay [email_address] @digitalfay digital.library.lse.ac.uk
  30. 35. Image credits <ul><li>Egosiliqua malusymphonicus Guts © Christopher Locke </li></ul><ul><li>(used with permission) http://heartlessmachine.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Simple Globe (CC-BY-SA) Tokyoship </li></ul><ul><li>http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Simple_Globe.svg </li></ul><ul><li>8” floppy disk (Public Domain) Pamporoff </li></ul><ul><li>http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:8%60%60_floppy_disk.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>[Various Gnome icons] (GPL) Gnome icon artists </li></ul><ul><li>All other images </li></ul><ul><li>(CC-BY-NC-SA) LSE Library </li></ul>

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