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Library Instruction Tutorials: Bottom-Up Design Structures for maintenance and scalability


Library Instruction Tutorials: Bottom-Up Design Structures for maintenance and scalability Sean Cordes Instructional Technology Librarian, Iowa State University – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Library Instruction Tutorials: Bottom-Up Design Structures for maintenance and scalability

Library Instruction Tutorials Bottom-Up Design
Structures for maintenance and scalability
  • Sean Cordes Instructional Technology Librarian,
    Iowa State University

A top down piece of mind
  • As we designed the first Web sites and
  • We could comfortably fit a model of the entire
    site inside our heads
  • At some point, the complexity of our sites
    overwhelmed us 1Peter Morville

The top down jacket A comfortable fit
  • Historical web design model,ex. directory
    style-Internet Library For Librarians
  • Hierarchy, taxonomy model easy for librarians to
    visualize, understand, and relate too.
  • Easy to subdivide labor, everyone has functions
    and tasks (many similar), implementations follow
    global specifications and restraints (but can

Top down The low down
  • Content and control

"And all the little Oysters stoodAnd waited in a
row. 2 - Lewis Carroll As we formulate our
ideas and methods, we should be wary of those who
expound a one best way 3 Morville and Rosenfeld
Top down The Conundrum
  • many sites are too large for one individual or
    department to manage comprehensively
  • specialization can cause disconnect from the
    centralized big picture
  • but specialization is often needed to manage
    diverse needs, tasks, decisions, of the org
  • as decentralization increases data (and its
    meaning) become changeable from more points

Balancing the elephant
Intranets tend to grow organically, with silos
of content that correspond to the corporate org
chart. Unfortunately, users usually don't have
that org chart in mind when they're looking for
information to help them do their jobs. 4Lou
Strategy formation
The organization
The information architect
A key to success?
  • The developer must pick a solution that opens
    structures, balancing the diverse needs of the
    system, its users, and stakeholders, over time.
  • A key goal? Finding a common ground so form,
    function, and feasibility can come together.

Bottom up design
  • Facets - describing systems as meaningful
    forms, fashions, and fittings
  • Specifications -
  • the tool what it is, what it does, where it
    does it, what are the limits?
  • Information Ecologies - un-earth relevant design
    factors (survey, interview, observe, test)

The spirit of the facet
  • The fundamental facets that Ranganathan
    developed. 5
  • PMEST, personality, matter, energy, space, time
  • Personalitywhat the object is primarily about.
    This is considered the main facet.
  • MatterWhat its made out of
  • Energythe processes or activities that take
    place in relation to the object
  • Spacewhere the object happens or exists
  • Timewhen the object occurs

A facet-nating example
  • A book about design of wooden furniture in 18th
    century America. 6
  • Arlene Taylor
  • Personalityfurniture
  • Matterwood
  • Energydesign
  • SpaceAmerica
  • Time18th century

The tutorial facet
  • Some typical facets forming a library tutorial.
  • Personalityusing library service and tools
  • Matterpixels, print
  • Energyaccess, navigation, interaction
  • Spaceon a screen, in a variety of physical
    spaces, space independence
  • Timeanytime, time shifted

  • Describe the tool
  • what it is,
  • what it does,
  • where it does it,
  • what the limits are

Specifications Form, fashion, and fit
  • What shape will the product take?
  • How will the language, layout, and appearance be
    designed? What actions/interactions are required?
  • How (well) will the product fit meet the
    organizations current needs? What about
  • The form, fashion and fit of a tutorial largely
  • determines its effectiveness and sustainability!

Specifications 101 Building the enchilada.
  • Enchiladas are quite similar to burritos, yet
    differ in content and flavor.Specifications
    differ regarding match of purpose, function,
    and form, the style of organization, fit with
  • While a burrito is folded in order to make an
    envelope that encloses its contents, an enchilada
    has the tortilla wrapped around the substance, so
    as to make a cylinder. The system around the
    information is recursive, here is there, there is
    no complete enclosure
  • Another variance is that a burrito is made with a
    flour tortilla whereas an enchilada is made with
    a corn tortilla. Tutorial designs may differ in
    many ways, yet theparts form a cohesive whole

Usability Specs by Norman
  • Use the knowledge in the head
  • Make use of constraint whats possible
  • Make things visible - including the conceptual
    model of the system
  • Users should be able to know what to do
  • Make sure the user can tell whats going on
  • Donald Norman, The design of everyday Things8

Usability Specs by Shneiderman
  • Recognize diversity, explanations of symbols,
    topics, and navigation options
  • Strive for consistency with menus, layout,
    capitalization, fonts, action sequences, tools
  • Provide feedback, locations, actions, change
  • Build in error prevention, make screens distinct,
    make it hard to make irreversible actions,
    anticipate errors.
  • Ben Schneiderman, Designing the User Interface9

Spec talk Fashioning language
  • The structures we design often reflect the
    familiar and explicit.
  • language/jargon - corporate organizations
    distribute documents, libraries circulate items.
  • explicit/implicit meaning what is read is not
    always what is meant
  • my familiar is not your familiar language and
    instruction driven by the audience perspective

Informational Ecologies
  • Successful specificationssurface from
  • Discovering ecological design factors(survey,
    interview, analyze, observe, test)
  • A diamond in the rough Unearth enough about the
    system to make it better!

Why tutorials are unique
  • Must often stand alone or as hybrid
  • Cover complex concepts or tasks
  • Require interaction or animation
  • Represent organization mission
  • Require high degree of accessibility
  • Digital tools to describe digital tools
  • Can require frequent revision
  • Can require coordination of input from many
  • Users and maintenance persons are often novices

Bottom up design structures
  • Scalability - make it bigger
  • Portability - make it malleable
  • Maintainability make it manageable

Scalability The direct approach
  • Effective file and directory structures
  • provide expansion, identification, and
  • chunking for.
  • content concepts, (web site sections and page
  • functional objects (scripts, includes) and,
  • file types (style sheets, images, animations)
  • Design structures with expansion in mind!

Scaling Content
  • Text - Use relative font sizes (, em, ex,
  • P
  • FONT-SIZE 90
  • Graphics Use the em property of CSS to
  • make scalable graphics for better accessibility
  • IMG.120px
  • WIDTH 7.5em HEIGHT 7.5em
  • Fluid layouts relative width margins are, best
  • reading and finding info, best use of screen
  • preferred by users. Bernard and Larson, 2001.
  • DIV
  • WIDTH 90

Expanding the grand design
  • Includes - modular functionality for the whole
  • Templates - carry the whole design fwd
  • Scripts - provide global functions
  • Relative widths - of table and css layouts so
    text and objects expand and contract when the
    browser is resized.
  • Minimize/Keep consistent page height across
    tutorial sequence.

Reach out and teach Someone
  • Expand your reach
  • Send RSS updates about content changes
  • Create a Podcast version
  • Generate an alternate print version
  • Add a Wiki or Blog function
  • Make a portable version

Portability - make mine vanilla
  • Text is for text
  • Graphics are for graphics
  • Reduce noise - If you dont need it, dont use
  • Design cross browser apps see IBM Dev

Portability Tuning the port
  • Reduce html tagsAbsolute html optimizer
  • HTML-Optimizer
  • Do it yourselfhttp//
  • Reduce image size use vectors adjust color
    depth, remove unused color, compress
  • Separate content from design CSS, Metadata, html

Whose your meta-daddy?
  • Technical means to describe the portable
  • content - text, image, .mp3, .wav
  • design html, css, js, php,
  • concept metadata, Dublin Core, XML, RDF,SOAP

Tutorial page for printer
  • content - image of a printer, text on web page
  • design - font size 12, face Arial, table 90
  • concept instruction, technical tool, transforms
    digital content to print, distributed, interacts
    with computer, database

Centralizing core concepts
In the lobby, each row of workstations is
networked to the laser printer at the end of that
Workstation is_part_of value
networkis_part_of value lobby has_service
value printing has_tech value printer
Use the concepts and relationships to build
navigation and context. Especially important
when porting from static html to database driven
Theres no birthday party
  • Separate content design
  • Integrate text image
  • Modularize
  • Automate reuse
  • Make controls explicit
  • Fit content to view area
  • Make points brief and clear

If we dont get some cool rules ourselves
prontowell just be bogus too!
  • Stay current
  • Openly innovate
  • Cherry pick your techs
  • Build partnerships
  • Enlist champions
  • Share experiences

  • Caroll, Lewis. Alices Adventure in Wonderland.
    Peter Pauper Press, 1953.
  • Morville, Peter. Bottoms Up Designing complex,
    adaptive systems, New Architect December 2002
  • Morville, Peter and Rosenfeld, Louis.
    Information Architecture for the World Wide Web,
    2nd Edition, 2002.
  • Evans, Meryl K.. Interviews Peter Morville and
    Lou Rosenfeld, Digital Web Magazine, December
    2002. http//
  • Steckels, Mike. Ranganathan for IAs, Boxes and
    Arrows. October 2002. http//
  • Morville, Peter. Faceted Classification. New
    Architect, December 2002. http//www.newarchitectm
  • Taylor, Arlene G.. The organization of
    information . Libraries Unlimited, 2004.
  • Norman, Donald. The design of everyday Things,
    Doubleday, 1988.
  • Schneiderman, Ben. Designing the User Interface.
    Addison-Wesley, 1997