Following our initial release of Aurora, we’ve continued to improve the application through usability testing with RAC staff members. This process has been essential in identifying usability issues in Aurora and guiding our strategy to implement fixes to address those issues. In this post, I want to share our approach to usability testing, a summary of our findings and fixes, and our next steps.
John Dewey once stated: “We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.”
So, as I have just finished my first year as the Audiovisual Archivist at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC), I thought now might be a good time to reflect upon what has been accomplished in these last twelve months.
This week I attended the annual edUi conference in Charlottesville, Virginia. As I’ve written before – this was my third year in a row attending – I’ve found the conference and community to be a place of challenge and inspiration, and I always leave with at least one major “aha” moment. Continue reading
Over the weekend, we launched an improved version of DIMES functionality that allows users to search within a single finding aid. Previously, the “Search this collection” simply added highlighting to hits within the body of the finding aid, which meant it was often impossible to find hits in long contents lists. In fact, we noticed that many users were simply resorting to using their browser’s “Find” functionality. Continue reading
One of the sessions I really enjoyed at this year’s edUI conference (for a broad recap of the conference, see my earlier post) was Designing for Information Objects, presented by Duane Degler (Design for Context) and Neal Johnson (National Gallery of Art). Although the presentation took place on the afternoon of the last day of the conference, by which time my brain was already past its saturation point, it was immediately apparent to me that there were some pretty important ideas in the presentation that deserved some detailed attention. In part, I wanted to write this post as a way to revisit that session now that I’ve had some time to recover from the conference overload. Continue reading
As you’ve probably noticed, we recently rolled out a pretty major overhaul to DIMES. This post describes the changes that were made in some detail and also describes the reasons behind the changes. Continue reading
One of my favorite sessions at this year’s SAA conference was “Disruptive Components: Reimagining Archival Access Systems,” during which three archivists and one technical services librarian from Princeton spoke about their recent re-envisioning of an access system for archival description. This team was responsible for developing a new system which has been widely hyped in the archival community – and deservedly so – for setting the bar for the next generation of access systems. I was excited to hear what the panelists had to say about this project, and I was not disappointed. Continue reading
One of the panels I attended at SAA this year was titled “Exploring the User Experience with Digital Primary Sources,” which covered a wide range of topics, starting with understanding a repository’s user community, assessing that community’s needs and behavior, and discovering new opportunities for archives and archivists to engage in research and scholarly production. Continue reading
Last week I attended a Cultural Heritage Iconathon. Below is a post I created about this experience on Storify, a service which allows easy inclusion of social media content.