ArcLight Discovery: Phase 1

This phase of the design process has been completed.

The primary objective of this phase of design is to collect information that will enable us to clearly define the high-level goals of ArcLight and the general scenarios it is intended to serve. We want to better understand who is interested in ArcLight, what institutional objectives they hope ArcLight can meet, the characteristics of the content intended for ArcLight, and the ways in which the application might be similar, and different, from other solutions.

As an attempt to make contributions to this phase of design as easy and collaborative as possible, we've set up a storage structure in Box (links to some Google Docs files are provided within the Box structure). Soon after you sign up to the arclight-design mailing list you'll receive an email with information about gaining access to Box so you can view, upload, and edit the design documents. (You will have to sign up for a Box account to access these documents.)

Below is the structure of the ArcLight Design folder structure in Box, along with a description of what we think might be useful in terms of contributions and format. To participate in this phase of design, feel free to contribute to any or all of the folders.

Environmental Scan

Any examples or data that would inform the discovery and design process. Examples could be of specific features or interaction techniques you’ve seen on other websites (not limited to archives or finding aid-related sites).

  • Example sites
    • URLs with an accompanying description of what you think might be relevant can be added to this Google document
  • Screenshots
    • Screenshots of interesting features or interaction examples go in this subfolder
  • Survey Data
    • Relevant data from surveys or studies related to online archives collections or finding aids go in this subfolder

Content Examples

A fundamental part of the discovery process is understanding the scope and variety of content to be used in the application. For ArcLight we’d like to collect examples of finding aids or other archives collections (already online or ones you’d want to make available online with ArcLight) from a range of institutions. Please don’t submit more than a few examples from each institution, ideally with a note about why they are either representative or interesting outliers.

  • Links to Web-accessible archival content examples
    • Links to existing online archive collections can be added to this Google spreadsheet
  • Finding Aids and Other Documents
    • Useful examples that aren't linkable go in this subfolder

Institutional Stakeholders and Objectives

Because there appear to be several distinct high-level use cases for ArcLight, it would be helpful to hear about relevant institutional goals and stakeholders from as many institutions as possible. Ideally, this is a one-page (or so) document that addresses these questions: What distinct stakeholders at your institution are interested in ArcLight? Why do they care about ArcLight? What are their objectives or goals that ArcLight would meet? How do they envision ArcLight meeting those goals? Would ArchivesSpace or another product be part of your ideal ArcLight solution?

  • Institutional Stakeholders and Objectives
    • A document that addresses the above questions can be added directly to this folder

Stakeholder Interview Planning

We’d like to interview a range of potential users of ArcLight to better understand their motivations, goals, tasks, and common scenarios when working with online archives or finding aids. Interviews will take place in Phase 2, but we want to plan for interviews in this phase, generating a list of interviewees and a common interview protocol. Potential interviewees could include both users of archives for research and teaching (e.g., faculty, researchers) and those who develop and manage online archives (e.g., librarians, archivists). We’d also like to keep track of who might be able to help conduct interviews (using the common protocol).

  • Potential Interviewees
    • Information about potential interviewees at your institution can be added to this spreadsheet
  • Interview Protocol
    • Stanford will provide a first draft of this document in early January