During the last six weeks of my fellowship, I conducted a user experience (UX) | user interface (UI) research for the DHC Dance Preservation Digitization Project (DPDP), formerly known as the Secure Media Network. DPDP (http://archive.danceheritage.org/) is an online library of performing arts videos and images from dance companies, archives, libraries, and museums. DHC developed DPDP to preserve historically significant dance documentation and provide secure access to these materials.
The objective for the UX | UI Design Project was to understand user and stakeholder needs and requirements, improve services and workflows, and re-conceptualize an intuitive, effective, and human-centric UI design. The focus was to move away from the library catalog design. My recommendations were based on research and requirements gathering, in-person interviews with professionals in the field and DHC consultants, competitive analysis of similar sites using Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) design heuristics, and wireframes. User feedback and the competitive analysis revealed some issues with the existing site including navigation problems, use of jargons, technical information (i.e. unique identifiers, streaming assets, instantiations), and largely text-based interface design. It was also noted that performances were not often viewed in its entirety, and users desired tools to create, save, and share video clips to be viewed at a later time. Below are several examples of deliverables developed for the project using Omnigraffle.
*Please note that these recommendations are in the very early stages of the conceptual design process. As more comprehensive research and data are gathered and features tested, retested, and validated, the final UI designs are likely to change drastically.
Highlights of the new UI include:
• Natural language with familiar words, phrases, and concepts
• Contextual and descriptive metadata about the company / performer / choreographer / performance
• Autofill / controlled vocabulary in keyword search bars to prevent common errors
• Icons and images to provide visual cues
• Clean and minimal design – no irrelevant or rarely used information
• Tools for creating clips, annotations, and personal collections
I also started to take tutorials for the interactive prototyping software Axure, using the DPDP design recommendations. You can test out the very beta prototype/mock-up at: http://share.axure.com/900SZE/. So far I only have the slideshow, log in, and registration up and running. To “log in,” enter the case sensitive email address “firstname.lastname@example.org” and the password “dpdp.”
All in all, I had an incredible summer of professional growth and adventures. A great big THANK YOU to everyone at DHC and all the amazing folks I met along the way!
*In my previous blog, I mentioned a number of places I will be visiting during my time in San Francisco. Here’s a few photos from my visit.