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This morning, I gave a presentation to our library staff to show and discuss our possible wireframe prototypes, as well as the analysis that informed the designs. It’s a sort of visual summary of our redesign-related blog posts to this point. The embedded version here is small, but you can view the full presentation here.

 

3 Responses to Presentation on Initial Wireframes (2/3/10)

  1. Sean Aery says:

    Here is a summary of the Q&A and other discussion during the session.

    ITEM PAGES

    Q. Does collection branding within an item view presuppose association with only one collection?

    A. We will likely be able to associate items with multiple collections (see mockups–also Flickr & ECU examples). We might possibly distinguish a primary versus secondary collection relationship where the primary would have branding and contact info and others listed in an “Also part of…” section.

    Q. How would we handle contact info for items associated with multiple collections?

    A. Many collections have a Special Collections Research Center as a point of contact. One approach is to have primary/secondary collections and list the info for primary. Another approach: list a generic contact for every item page, and keep the research center listed as the contact point on the collection homepage level.

    Q. Is there a way for patrons to add items to a shopping cart for later viewing / organizing?

    A. Since each item has its own URL, patrons can bookmark items just like other web pages: in their browser favorites or using tools like Delicious. Developing a native shopping cart feature would take a lot of work and there’d be several significant challenges to overcome, like user authentication.

    Q. Patrons from secondary schools often ask us questions about the context for items. Can we put links to contextual information on item pages?

    A. We currently rely on users to click to the collection homepage from the item page to see these additional collection resources. We might be able to link directly from the item pages to those resources. We might be able to work in those links at the item level. At the very least, we could be more explicit about where to find that related info.

    Q. Most of our current collections use item level descriptions, but we are moving toward digitizing groups of items selected and described at the folder or box level. How will we display those items?

    A. One possibility would be to display the first page or item from within a folder and allow patrons to page through to the other items. We’ll have to explore different approaches.

    Q. How will you display items that are more complex than images?

    A. The mockups have focused on images for simplicity’s sake, though it is important to consider how to handle other item types. We have an increasingly diverse range of digital objects being added to the collections (images + full-text, video, etc.). We’ll have to have further discussions about how to handle these other formats.

    SEARCH RESULTS

    Q. Did you try to determine what searches were done from within the building versus from outside the building?

    A. We haven’t. If it is possible, it would still be hard to determine staff versus patron searches.

    Discussion: What about putting results on the left and facets on the right?

    It’s a possibility to consider. Library staff showed a strong preference for left-hand facets during the library catalog design. Having consistency between the two interfaces might be ideal.

    Q. Are more people searching within an individual collection because that search box is easier to find than the cross-collection search box?

    A. We don’t know. We do know that 75% of searches are currently within a collection vs 25% cross-collection. [It was suggested later that cross-collection searches are too broad for many people's research needs and bring back too much irrelevant content].

    Q. When selecting facets to refine results, it can be frustrating when previously viewable facets disappear.

    A. Most (but not all) facets do work this way: the available choices for narrowing a result set diminishes as the result set is widdled down. This helps ensure that no selection will yield ‘no results’ and every selection works to narrow the set. Our library catalog also uses this convention.

    PORTAL PAGE

    Q. Did you consider the Smithsonian approach–having one box with the browsing options represented as tabs?

    A. We are looking at a tabbed browse approach and think it can solve some of the problems we have identified with the current portal. The tabs can conserve screen real-estate while providing a lot of entry points for browsing.

    Q. Would you consider a Google-like minimalistic approach for the portal page?

    A. That approach might work better after we have digitized more content. A browse approach that highlights items we’ve already digitized seems like a good choice right now.

    Q. Do you have a sense if users notice tabs and understand that it will bring up a different display?

    A.Tabs are becoming commonplace around the web, so most people should understand the convention, especially if they are designed well. For users who might not understand, it is important for us to pick the best default/starting tab.

    COLLECTION HOME PAGES

    Q. When you browse (in the tabbed section), if you click Formats > Images, do you go to a homepage for an “images collection” or do you go straight to search results for images?

    A. We’ll have to decide what the best approach will be. Sites like the Smithsonian Collection Search jump right to search results, so these links behave exactly like facets. Though if we want to have a more elegant way to search/browse all photographs, for example, we might need a Photographs collection with its own portal page.

    Q. I like the idea of toggling between searching all collections and within a single collection. But would you be able to select multiple specific collections to search, for example, searching only Ad*Access and EAA at the same time? Patrons would benefit from searching all advertising collections at once, rather than choosing between 1 collection versus all collections.

    A. One possibility is to create a collection of advertising collections, and that collection would have its own portal available for searching/browsing. Or a ‘consumer culture’ collection that includes items from throughout the collections.

  2. [...] a first look at the new design for our Digital Collections site! Based on the blueprints from our initial wireframes, these designs include fully fleshed out HTML, CSS, images, and [...]

  3. Sandman says:

    Does any body know of any technology that will allow me to build a wire frame to excat measurements from a photogragh or a series of photographs ? I would be using this technology on a website real time

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