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The Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL) at the University of Maryland is assisting the Library of Congress (LC) in designing user interfaces and organizing the content of the National Digital Library (NDL). The early decisions made will influence how the NLD evolves as well as how other organizations develop digital libraries. LC leadership in digital libraries will depend on how users are able to access and use digital information as the collection grows larger and virtual collections cross the boundaries of individual digitized collections.
The goal of this collaboration is to establish a user-centered design team for the NDLP, to create interface prototypes that serve a wide range of users, and to develop a variety of tools and widgets that LC may incorporate into future implementations.
Beginning in the fall of 1995, HCIL team members met regularly with an LC team composed of librarians, managers, and technical staff to identify key interface challenges and brainstorm design approaches and features. As part of these efforts an extensive user needs assessment was conducted to determine characteristics of LC users and the types of information needs they bring to the Library. The needs assessment report presents a user typology with nine type/task components and identifies a series of interface challenges broken into content and user strategies categories. A prototype interface is now evolving over over several iterations. The prototype is not meant as a design that will itself be fully implemented but rather a means to explore different design problems and suggest design techniques and widgets to the LC implementation team.
Gary MarchioniniProfessor, College of Library and Information Services (PI).
READ THIS FIRST (requirements - warnings)
- Image Browsers: (hint: search for automobiles to see some nice pictures)
- Image Browser ( with possibility to select images and create page with those images. Can be used to view results (with 10 images at a time), or possibly entire medium size collections. The number of image per screen might be a function of the user's preference or screen resolution.
- Image browser w/10 images
- Image browser w/50 images
- Movie browsers:
- Page turning browsers (html frames + Java scripts)
- Automatic page browser construction kit:
- This tool is written in C for UNIX.
- Example built automatically where the directory also included a bib.html, desc.html and notes.html: Columbia Race Records
The thumbnails page was also automatically created.
- Overview tools:
- WebTOC: one of the tools initialy developped for this project to browse unprocessed collections.
- Tool for browsing and selecting collections. Overview of American memory (large Java applet)
- Tool for browsing an individual collection (Java Applet loading a large file)
- - for processed collection i.e. mirroring the link structure (e.g. the American Variety Stage collection)
Interfaces and tools for the Library of Congress National Digital Library Program
Marchionini, G., Plaisant, C., Komlodi, A.
Downloadable MPG (104 MB)
A video demonstrating the interface(s) is available from HCIL (HCIL 1997 Video Report ) or through ACM-SIGCHI as part of the CHI'98