Design of an Administrative Interface for Library Collections - Part 1

The Challenge

Developing an online application where library staff can upload and apply metadata to digital objects that can be included in collections and be able to display these collections publicly or privately depending on the type of collection.

What’s the Strategy?

We’re looking to possibly replace a vendor product and taking the good parts as a starting point, leaving behind the bad parts, and highly customizing the workflow and needs of library staff. Preservation of digital material is very important. The look-and-feel should align itself with the library web presence and it should be a responsive interface. Staff and users should be able to view and explore or input metadata on a range of devices on various networks. Flexible and fast and fully accessible to users.

Where to Start?

user stories, requirements, priorities, story points, wireframes

Minimal Viable Product (MVP)

Well, put simply its an online application where library staff can upload digital objects and apply metadata and put them into a collection. So we are starting with a sort of form builder for administrators to set up input forms based on collection types and work types to pass on to other staff to upload digital objects and apply metadata. We’re restricting the vocabulary in the system by uploading a spreadsheet provided by metadata librarians that populates the form builder and helps keep data entry consistent and conforming to standards. It will need an interface for library staff to interact with the forms and populate collections, as well as, display and list collections.

Once the form builder is in place we’ll test the workflow and the overall feel for the process with users and check to see if it passes accessibility. Make adjustments as needed and repeat the testing process. Then we’ll work out the next phase of the workflow with library staff and test it out with them and check the design for accessibility. Again, make adjustments as needed and repeat the testing process. We will cycle through this process until we get things worked out. We won’t apply any visual branding until we have a working prototype because things change–a lot.