Digital Media Collections was project-based, studio-style exercise in designing a resource collection. We focused on conceptual aspects of design including understanding the purpose and audience of the collection, selecting resources, describing and organizing resources, and determining how to present resources to users. We implemented our ideas using the Open Video Digital Library Toolkit.

Primary class project: digital video collection design project

Our main class project was to create a prototype resource collection consisting of approximately 30 videos on the assigned subject of alternative medicine and wellness. We worked to select, describe, and organize the resources to make them appealing and useful to the intended audience. We worked on the information architecture of the digital library and the information design of individual web pages, concentrating on how design decisions can address both the rhetorical goals of the collection designer and the information needs of the target audience.

Our design process was divided into multiple phases:

In addition to our digital collection prototype, we wrote a design brief, which went through multiple revisions as the collection design advanced. Our brief described our communicative goals for the collection, our interpretation of the audience and its information needs, and our strategy for reflecting these goals and needs through the selection, organization, and description of collection resources and through the information design of the digital library environment.

In a final reflective essay, we examined the process of creating a collection experience. I especially focused on the complex negotiation of authorial and audience goals in collection design and on what concepts I had found most useful for creating an appealing and informative collection.

Second class project: critique of an existing collection

In addition to critiquing our own collection and our classmates', we analyzed an existing video library to describe how it works as an information experience, from the differing perspectives of audience, author, and information critic. The design critique was a recurring feature of the overall coursework and design process.

Sample video collections

Our final product cannot be linked to because it contains copyrighted videos. The design process and digital library construction techniques that we studied in this class can be applied in most contemporary digital library environments. Screenshots of my digital collection prototype are presented below.

Image of a web page entitled Causes and Cures: Walking the Paths of Alternative Medicine. The page has three colums entitled Browse, Featured Video, and Collections. Across the top are four navigation tabs entitled Home, Videos, Collections, and Playlists. Image of the Videos page of Javier Ruedas' digital video collection. Presents screenshots and hyperlinked titles of videos. Some videos across the top have brief descriptions. Image of a page accessed through the Collections tab. This collection is entitled Perspectives on eggs and presents naturalistic, skeptical, and promotional perspectives on the alternative therapy called egg cleansing.