ArcLight Design Process


We have chosen to use a community-oriented, collaborative design process for ArcLight. The goal is to involve more institutions earlier in the process by inviting any institution interested in ArcLight to participate, to whatever degree they want, in the design process.

Because of other priorities, the ArcLight design effort was on hiatus for a year. We picked up the process again in mid-June, 2016, with the goal of completing the design process by March 2017. Here's an earlier draft of a tentative timeline:

ArcLight Discovery: Phase 1

(tick) (completed)

  • Environmental scan
  • Content understanding
  • Identify institutional stakeholders and their objectives
  • Interview planning

We completed the work of Discovery: Phase 1 in January and February, 2015. See the  ArcLight Discovery: Phase 1 for details of the work done in this phase. If you have relevant information for Phase 1 you'd like to contribute, we'd still be happy to talk to you. 

ArcLight Discovery: Phase 2

(tick) (completed)

  • Conduct interviews
  • Transcribe interviews

Interviews with archivists and end-users of archives (e.g., researchers) conducted at Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and Georgia Tech were completed in May, 2015. Additional interviews we completed by the Chemical Heritage Foundation in June, 2016. We analyzed the interviews during summer, 2016, and have completed Phase 2 of the Discovery process in October, 2016. See the  ArcLight Discovery: Phase 2 for details and links related to conducting interviews, including a detailed user interview analysis.

ArcLight Information Architecture: Phase 1 

(tick) (completed)

  • User needs specification
  • User personas
  • Requirement prioritization

The development of user needs specification and user personas was undertaken by staff at Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and Georgia Tech in November 2016-January 2017, and was directly informed by the user interview analysis completed in Phase 2 of the Discovery process. A prioritized set of requirements, informed by the personas, user interview analysis, and additional materials gathered in Phase 1 of the Discovery process, was developed in January-February 2017. We completed Phase 1 of the Information Architecture process in February 2017.

ArcLight Information Architecture: Phase 2

(tick) (completed for MVP)

  • Conceptual models
  • Conceptual sitemap
  • Wireframes

The development of conceptual models, conceptual sitemaps, and wireframes was undertaken by staff at Stanford University in a series of design sprints held between February-April 2017, with additional focused consultation and specification contributed by Georgia Tech. We have held design review meetings (both in-person and teleconferences) for stakeholder input during that period. Work on the wireframes may continue after the April-June work cycle focused on the development of the ArcLight minimum viable product.

Interaction & Visual Design 

(tick) (completed for MVP)

  • Visual design mockups
  • Interaction design specification


  • Gary Geisler, Stanford University Libraries
  • Wendy Hagenmaier, Georgia Tech
  • Nabeela Jaffer, University of MIchigan
  • Mark Matienzo, Stanford University Libraries
  • Sarah Newhouse, Chemical Heritage Foundation
  • Kayla Ondracek, University of Michigan
  • Chris Powell, University of Michigan
  • John Rees, National Library of Medicine
  • Mike Shallcross, University of Michigan
  • Jennifer Vine, Stanford University Libraries
  • Laura Wilsey, Stanford University Libraries