Information Architecture and Web Design
Websites, Repositories and Online Communities
I am a freelance consultant, specializing in Web-based Education and Outreach Programs, Website Design Strategy and Information Architecture for not-for-profit, education and small business organizations. My primary goal is to ensure effective information architecture for optimal site findability and user accessibility.
In addition, I provide quality website strategy, business analysis, social media integration, user surveys, graphic design, and HTML/PHP/AJAX coding.
I am active in the information architecture community through the Information Architecture Institute, where I serve as Operations Manager, and have access to IA tools, research and a worldwide network of IA professionals.
Stump and Moo
…and for my first piece of post-MLIS magic, I started a project cataloging cows. Literally. It's a cattle ranch management app and won't be public. Mostly coding and connecting to no-SQL database MongoDB. Can't say much more than moo about this.
I have also started interning at Architecture_MPS, an online architecture journal. I am developing an image archive of presidential campaign photos from 2000 to 2012. More when there is something to show.
So, I Graduated
Hooray! Visit my E-Porfolio to see what I learned.
Fall Projects: User Research
My Information Architecture class conducted a semester-long, group project to develop a website prototype for a small business or nonprofit group. My group, including Eleanor Meyer, Jan Diolola, Storey Radziunas and me, formed a group called Community Design and selected the West 104th Street Block Association as our client. Since I have a prior relationship with the block association as the caretaker of their digital newsletter repository, I had close access to members of the association board and the community and knew that their site was in desperate need of a facelift.
We each selected a different user population to study including senior citizens and older adults, families living in the neighborhood, young families considering a move to the neighborhood and couples without children. My group presented our design to the block association, who has agreed to adopt it for their next redesign. Next step is building the thing. Congrats, Team!
The following is excerpted from my Pratt SILS E-Portfolio:
Project Description: This evaluation was part of a semester-long team project for LIS 643: Information Architecture. The goal of the evaluation was to provide an analysis of a specific user population, Senior Citizens and Older Adults, to understand their needs and expectations for a redesigned block association website (bloomingdale.org). The result was a user research report, including two participant observations and two participant interviews, a persona reflecting a typical member of the target population and a user scenario describing a use case typical of the target population.
Methods: I employed two user research methods: interviews and observations. Participants included members of the community that the block association represents who were selected from personal contacts and on-site, guerrilla research at the association's annual yard sale. I collected demographic information about the participant and recorded feedback. The interviews took place in person and by telephone and followed a standard interview protocol. The observation was open-ended and involved viewing participants as they navigated three competitive websites and taking note of actions and feedback that might suggest potential new content, problems and improvements. Both methods followed a script developed by the group and contained a brief questionnaire and open ended activities that I tailored to the study population. The results will provide insight into the interests and motivations of the target user group and information for refining the content and functionality of the current website.
Rationale: This project illustrates my mastery of the User-Centered Focus learning objective. I applied professional User Experience methods to create an in-depth analysis of a typical user population for a website. It not only required advanced research and writing skills, but also personal communication skills and sensitivity toward senior citizens with widely varying computer capabilities.
Additional User-Centered Focus Projects:
Fall Projects in Digital Archives
This Fall I participated in two digital archives projects, where I served on the metadata team. The first was an oral history archive for dance journalist, Barbara Newman, who had a collection of interviews from the 1970s to this past year, in which she spoke with dancers, choreographers and others affiliated in the dance community. The interviews were primary sources for Ms. Newman's book Grace Under Pressure. The website, Dance Dialogues, is a compilation of interviews from several of her books. I participated on the metadata team, where we ensured that our classmates' records were properly tagged with our selected schema. I also digitized interviews with Mark Morris and tagged and uploaded interviews with Katie Wade and Robert Denvers.
The second project was for the American Jewish Historical Society for their Jews in America project. The goal of the project is to create a gateway to Jewish heritage artifacts at institutions across the United States. My team selected the Charleston College Low Country Digital Library, which has a rich collection of oral histories and papers from American Jewry in the Charleston region. We selected collections from LCDL that best fit the Jews in America vision, harvested metadata and URLs from the collection and delivered it to AJHS for inclusion in their database. I recently ran into Susan Malbin at the 2nd Annual METRO Conference, who told me that the Charleston team was one of two of the four class projects that would likely be included in the Jews in America repository. Congrats, Team!
My summer involved a full set of research courses over the summer, including Museums & Library Research at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Researching Local Histories and the Summer Map Institute at NYPL. The workload was a bit heavy due to the fact that the MetMuseum course was not actually a two week course, as noted in the bulletin, but two weeks of seminar followed by a month of intensive research. Ultimately it was a great experience, jammed packed with interesting research on museum artifacts, local landmarks and maps.
NYC Garden Maps, a WordPress site on community gardening in New York City
My map project on NYC Garden Maps is done. I am editing the final deliverables for presentation here, including a walking tour of the Bloomingdale neighborhood on the Upper West Side and a MetMuseum exhibition guide. Look for these shortly.
Also, I spent the summer with my linked data team refining our paper on "Linked Data for Cultural Institutions," which has been accepted to ACM's 2013 SIGDOC conference. This has been a challenging and extremely rewarding experience and I thank my teammates and co-authors, Julia Marden, Carolyn Li-Madeo and Jeff Edelstein of Pratt Institute. I celebrated the end of an intense summer with two weeks in the Massachusetts Berkshires.
Pratt SILS Student Showcase
I have been nominated to present three projects at the Pratt SILS Student Showcase on May 10, 2013, including a review of technology platforms for a digital humanities skillshare application; a group project on linked open data at cultural heritage institutions in which I studied the Australian War Memorial, EU Screen and the Deutsche National Bibliotek; and a group project on folksonomies and social tagging in museums, which was presented at the 2013 Information Architecture Summit.
A Survey of Digital Humanities Skillshare Applications, nominated for the Pratt SILS Showcase:
The DH skillshare website is available here: DH Skillshare
Linked Open Data for Cultural Heritage, group project nominated for Pratt SILS Student Showcase. Poster, presentation and paper below.
LOD for CH Poster:
LOD for CH Presentation:
Paper: Linked Open Data for Cultural Heritage
By Jeff Edelstein, Lola Galla, Carolyn Li-Madeo, Julia Marden, Alison Rhonemus, Noreen Whysel
Abstract: This paper surveys the landscape of linked open data projects in cultural heritage, exam- ining the work of groups from around the world. Traditionally, linked open data has been ranked using the five star method proposed by Tim Berners-Lee. We found this ranking to be lacking when evaluating how cultural heritage groups not merely develop linked open datasets, but find ways to used linked data to augment user experience. Building on the five-star method, we developed a six-stage life cycle describing both dataset development and dataset usage. We use this framework to describe and evaluate fifteen linked open data projects in the realm of cultural heritage.
Download the paper: Linked Open Data for Cultural Heritage
Poster: Folksonomies and Social Tagging in Museums, created with Kathleen Dowling and Dana Hart and presented at the 2013 Information Architecture Summit in Baltimore on April 5. This poster was nominated for the Pratt SILS Student Showcase on May 10:
Presentation: Folksonomies and Social Tagging in Museums
Class Presentation on Digital Humanities in the Field of Archaeology:
Presentation: IA of Emergency Response (for designers) from IxDA's July 12 meeting.
More presentations on Slideshare.