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Library of Congress

UX Research & Design

 

 

Overview

In a collaboration with the Library of Congress, we introduced and designed new access points to the Library of Congress digital audio collections to improve the engagement users have with each artifact and collection.

Client: Library of Congress
Timeline: 20 Weeks
My Role: UX Researcher & Designer
Tools: Photoshop, Sketch, Figma, Pencil & Paper

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The reading room at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

The

Problem

 

How can users discover, acquire, and interact with A/V materials on the Library of Congress website to find relevant and useful contents to their domain?
The Library is looking for innovative solutions to democratize digital access to their collections and to build a lifelong connection with the people who use it.


About Library of Congress



Library of Congress is the largest library in the world &
 the first one to start making their resources available online, currently holding
21,000 digitized audio records 
& 
8500 digitized videos.
 

The US Congress, schools, researchers, authors and many more rely on the Library as an archive and engage with it as a source of authentic knowledge. For many artifacts, the Library is the only source where they are digitally available.

 

In the fiscal year 2017, the Library of Congress website has received over:

110 million

Web Visits

  

503 million

Page Views

2.7 million

Downloads

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Target Audience

Project's Intended user group

Our primary target users include researchers and educators who need primary sources and information in the domains on American history and government, as well as creatives who are involved in the domains of music, art, journalism, and history.


Process


PROCESS

MacBook Pro – 8

Background
Research

BACKGROUND RESEARCH

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1. Summary of Literature Review

Overviewing A/V search process 

21 papers in the topics of visual search, digital collections, information seeking, and information processing were reviewed and summarized:

●   Supporting context-based distinguishing for assets might be useful in user search because different users might search for similar information but with the different contexts of use.
●   Half of the searches conducted to begin with keyword strategies (analytical strategies) and the remainder begins with partition selection (browsing strategies).
●   Useful to have the proxy method for displaying video results when users need quick and fast skimming of video over high-resolution content.

Video Search Process Phases

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Starting: defines/refine the need/request in order to develop a set of criteria
Scoping: implicitly or explicitly decide on the general approach and strategy
Applying: user initiates formal interaction(s) with the information resources
Selecting: make decisions on what to select from a returned set
Iterating & Ending: involves modification to the search or corresponding criteria


02. Competitive Analysis

Learning about similar platforms

The competitive analysis helped us to learn about similar or best-in-class platforms and identify opportunities and threads, including:

●   Hovering over thumbnails gives an idea of the video content.
●   Descriptions of the search results page provide tells what content to expect.
●   Related search suggestions based on initial keywords help refine searches.
●  
 Video sections' chapters help to jump to topics and parse content in the video.
●   C
lipping the original video helps to extract/share content with certain length.

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03. User Scenarios

Describing user searching A/V contents

Below are a few user scenarios that demonstrate how some new ideas might make it easier for people to discover new A/V content and judge its relevance to their use case:

 

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Personal Tags on A/V Content: Bill has a History project due next week. To find a relevant clip, he searches for his topic on the Library of Congress website and finds a video. In the video, he tags certain video segments with a relevant title so he can revisit it later.

 

Crowdsourced Tags on A/V Content: Sarah has to complete an article about Mozart. On the LoC website, she finds a video with tags that are comments about each section of the video previously marked by other viewers; using the tags she can easily skim through the video.

 

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 Long A/V content split up into Chapters: Maya can view a video’s chapters which segment the video into smaller chunks so she can determine if the video covers any relevant topics to her interests. She finds a relevant chapter and the video marker skips to that time.

 

 Most Watched segments of A/V Content: Ann searches and finds a video for “contemporary views about civil war” to write an essay about it. She watches the parts that video player tells are most-watched, which indicates what parts are popular or generate the most debate.

 

04. Subject Matter Experts (SME) Interviews

Exploring the functionality of current platform


We interviewed 7 SMEs from LoC and academia who knew the platform best and offered insights into their fields: UX, Engineering, and Cataloging. 

Key focus areas:
How A/V content is organized and accessed in the LoC? 
What technical systems enable search and discovery of content?
How is the content model of LoC artifacts used in searching?
What are interesting visual search interface examples in the wild?
How are search results displayed and prioritized and what metadata affects them? 




SME Interview Insights:

●   Experts care about richness of metadata while searching.
●   Experts care about collections that are extremely familiar with.
●   Current digital libraries mostly cater to “experienced” audiences.
●  Organizations of collections mostly make sense to only curators.
●   Metadata consistency and quality are the main concerns while digitizing artifacts.

Field
Research

FIELD RESEARCH

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1. Contextual Interview

In-depth interview and observation to collect data

8 Participants:
Historians & Creatives
Male and Female
Ages 20s to 60s

Interview Focus
●   Understand the current experience for searching A/V content within the participant’s domain.
●   Understand how users discover media relevant to them and their domain.
●   Learn about the participant’s needs and frustrations while searching for A/V content.

 

02. Affinity Mapping

Organizing the collected data

This affinity diagram is a collection of all raw data and insights (400+ yellow notes) gathered during the contextual interviews and interpretation sessions.

To understand the scope of the problem, all insights, worries, issues, and key elements were organized/ grouped in separate themes.

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Affinity Mapping key Insights: 

Overarching themes (green notes) were identified that reflect the user story at the highest level and can be used to navigate the rest of the diagram:

●   People use prior knowledge and experience to search for A/V contents for different purposes, from education to personal needs.
●    
Content quality, metadata, popularity, relevance, and authenticity are the common A/V discovery issues.


Affinity Mapping key Insights: 

Overarching themes (green notes) were identified that reflect the user story at the highest level and can be used to navigate the rest of the diagram:

●   People use prior knowledge and experience to search for A/V contents for different purposes, from education to personal needs.
●    
Content quality, metadata, popularity, relevance, and authenticity are the common A/V discovery issues.

 

03. User Journey Map

Visualization of existing A/V searching process

This user journey map visualizes the current process that our target user goes through while searching for A/V content.

It reflects the data collected during the contextual interviews and organized in the affinity diagram to illustrate what triggers the need to search/discover A/V artifacts and the following events.

 

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04. Identity Model

Capturing the personalities of our users


Identity Model highlights the underlying identity elements of target users &
 how the A/V search process enhances or detracts from a person’s sense of self.

 

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IDENTITY – Horizontal Layout-1


 

Identity Key Model Insights:

After going through several iterations, we created three identity sections of I am, I care about, and I do which helped us to:

●   Better understand the variety of personalities, interests, and preferences of our users.
●   Demonstrates how these attributes influence users'
 A/V searching decisions to either use or dismiss particular content.

Wall
Walk



Immersing into the data

 

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Wall walking let the team immerse themselves into the data to draw up design ideas from the user data.


 Wall Walk was the first step before beginning to ideate conceptual possibilities in response to the user. Plusses, minuses, design ideas, and questions were identified and written on sticky notes and added to related sections.

Ideation

IDEATION




Stimulating creative design thinking

01. Issues & Hot Ideas

Determining strategic ideas for design thinking

As the first stage of design ideation, we made:
Issues List:
 observations about the problems, opportunities, and surprising points
&
Hot Ideas List: design ideas that trigger to inspire new thinking in the product concept phase.

 

01. Issues & Hot Ideas

Determining strategic ideas for design thinking

As the first stage of design ideation, we made:
Issues List:
 observations about the problems, opportunities, and surprising points
&
Hot Ideas List: design ideas that trigger to inspire new thinking in the product concept phase.

 

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Issues and Hot Ideas Key Insights Summary:

  Participants search for certain media of their choice and keep getting irrelevant data from random unauthorized sources.
●   Keyword searches and literal and qualitative tags, along with easy to navigate visual representation of data help to generate relevant results.

 

02. Visioning

Brainstorming ideas through visual storytelling

Visioning helped us to bridge data and design and tell coherent stories about the new world of the user and generate design ideas

 

02. Visioning

Brainstorming ideas through visual storytelling

Visioning helped us to bridge data and design and tell coherent stories about the new world of the user and generate design ideas

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Visioning Key Insights:

●   Visioning made the ideation into a transformative experience for target user.
●   It allowed the team to focus more on how the design relates to the concepts.
●   The initial product concepts were proposed.
●   Design ideas were narrowed down and visions got fine-tuned through multiple iterations.

The idea of wall walk and visioning sessions was to start wide with radical varied ideas
&
drill them down to generate
coherent
, implementable product concepts.

 

Design
Criteria

PRODUCT CONCEPTS



Incorporating findings into actionable product concepts

 

 

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Several design ideas were generated and the best visions' findings were incorporated to synthesize product concepts.


Several design ideas were generated and the best visions' findings were incorporated to synthesize product concepts.

 

Overview of Three Explicit Product Concepts:

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1.
Audio
Discovery

1.
Audio
Discovery

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Clip & Share Video

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Filer Results through natural Language

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Video Segment Section

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Qualitative Tagging

Audio Search Result Page:

●   Keyword Suggestion
●   Quick View Capability
●   Action buttons & Features
●   Metrics

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Audio Detail Page:

●   Labeled Video Segments
●   Trim feature
●   Content Upfront Qualitative Tagging
●   Interactive Transcript
●   Audio Collections 


2.
Video
Discovery


2.
Video
Discovery

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Search for Audio Recordings

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Modify the Search Result with Recommended Keywords

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Quick View of Audio File

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Interactive Translating

Video Search Result Page:

●   Media Type Determined by Keywords
●   Highlighted Search Keywords
●   Dynamic Thumbnails
●   Hover Over Preview
●   Content Upfront Taggings

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Video Detail Page:

●   Interactive Computer-generated transcripts
●   Qualitative tags such as capturing emotions
●   Video segments with titles and descriptions
●   Trim and Share Short Clips


3.
Audio/Video
Exploration



3.
Audio / Video
Exploration


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Discover Content from Dynamic Topic

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Create Your Own Topic List

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Get and Overview While Searching

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Dedicated Topic Page

Home Page Exploration:

●   Selectable Dynamic Topic List
●   Featured Content Grid
●   Access to Curated Content Pages
●   Dynamic Age Layouts
●   Topic Exploration Cards
●   Topic recommendations and links

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Curated Topic Page:

●   New Topics Presented
●   Timeline Feature
●   Different Jumping-Off Points for Topic Exploration Provided

 

 


Design phase is happening now! 

Stay tuned for updates coming soon!
Here’s a preview:

 

 

Moving forward in Spring 2020, final product concepts will be identified and designed through:

  • Storyboards to work out the details of the design concepts
  • User Environment Design to structure the system
  • Interaction design patterns identification for an initial user interface
  • Paper prototype and 2-3 iteration rounds of usability testing to validate concept, function, and interaction
  • Visual design to implement how the product looks and match design with function
  • Digital click-through prototype
  • Usability testing of the interaction and visual design in digital format
  • Design iteration to ensure overall acceptance