Monday, March 8, 2010

Ball State University’s Digital Media Repository Gets a New Look

Last September 2009, the University Libraries began to revise the public interface and feature set for the Digital Media Repository (DMR), an electronic resource that provides
digital content to a global audience.

System administrators, public service librarians, metadata librarians, and archivists worked cooperatively to develop a new user experience by updating the overall look of the interface, improving navigation, incorporating interactive Web 2.0 technologies, and adding new search options.

The DMR Public Interface Working Group utilized data collected using Google Analytics to inform decisions regarding the site’s width and interactive features. For example, during the 2008-2009 academic year, 95.4% of DMR researchers accessed the site using monitors capable of viewing 1040px or wider resolutions. Based on this finding, the group decided to widen the 700px width to 940px.

To offer more interactive elements to the DMR Web site, the group included the Flash-based media viewer, Cooliris, on the home page and a new collections spotlight Java applet to
interface pages. A social bookmarking tool, AddThis, was also included as part of the interface. This tool allows users to share DMR content on social networking sites such as Digg, MySpace,
Facebook, Twitter, and Delicious.

Other enhancements to the updated interface include additional ways to search content by subject, location, format, contributor, and individual collections directly from the browse pages.
Members of the DMR Public Interface Working Group are Eric B. Fisher, Information Services Librarian; Amanda A. Hurford (co-chair), Digital Initiatives Multimedia Developer; Carolyn F. Runyon (co-chair), Archivist for Digital Development and University Records; Amy E. Trendler, Architecture Librarian; and Budi Wibowo, Head of Digital Libraries and Web Services.

We welcome comments about the new interface. To learn more or make suggestions, contact Amanda A. Hurford at AAHurford@bsu.edu or Carolyn F. Runyon at CFRunyon@bsu.edu.