by Carolyn F. Runyon, Archivist for Digital Development and University Records, and Amanda A. Hurford, Digital Initiatives Multimedia DeveloperFurthermore, the working group determined DMR visitors’ browsers capabilities to interact with Java applets and embedded flash objects. Last year, 95.5% of DMR researchers used browsers that supported Java, and all site visitors had some version of flash installed. 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.
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. For example, DMR visitors may search all collections related to the study of architecture simultaneously, without using the Advanced Search features. By pre-selecting titles related to the subject of architecture, researchers do not need to know specific collection titles to search all architecture-related collections. A search box has also been added to the individual collection pages, making the research process even more intuitive to users.
Another way the DMR’s updated interface helps students, faculty, and staff make choices about a collection’s applicability to their research needs is the addition of a brief description on A-to-Z, subject, location, format, and contributor browse pages. Based on anecdotal evidence from DMR researchers, the working group found that titles and images alone were not sufficient to provide site visitors with enough information to make decisions about collections they might find useful. The new interface includes brief descriptions of collections to help users quickly and easily find relevant information.
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.