Together, we are developing an affordable, open-source, and collaborative institutional repository solution based on the Hyku software.
- Hyku Commons User Experience Report
Early in 2022, the Hyku for Consortia team started working with Samhaeng, a UX (user experience) firm out of Denmark. As part of the Reducing Barriers to Hyku Adoption 2021-2023 IMLS grant, we commenced the first official phase of user research with this partnership. This phase focused on Hyku administrative functions in PALNI and PALCI’s shared multi-tenant installation of Hyku, which we refer to as Hyku Commons. Samhaeng produced a UX report for the purposes of:
- Identifying issues with existing Hyku Commons repository interfaces and workflows
- Identifying needs for library/end-user metadata customization
- Creating specific suggestions for improvement and enhancements
After meeting team members to get a scope of the project and introduction to our setup, the consultant, Filip Jakobsen (CEO and founder of Samhaeng), held four in-depth interviews with Hyku Commons users to see how Hyku is used in their environment, listen to ideas for improvement, and even to co-design some solutions.
The report starts with an acknowledgement that users are generally happy with using the software.
“…even though this report focuses on the many points of constructive criticism given by users, the overarching message from users was that the data input workflows in the software work quite well for them already.”
The report provides helpful contextual overviews of the software ecosystem and worker setups. Several points of feedback are presented in the areas of Public UI (user interface), Staff data input UI, Settings and configuration UIs, and Non-UI aspects of the system.
Candidates for further research suggested are:
- “Work type” templates workflow
- “Work” public page layout
- Multi-Value input workflow
- Workflow for adding of additional data for items
- Batch workflows
It ends with a suggestion to continuously involve users in development decisions:
“I encourage you to continue running a process that gives users a central role in defining, reviewing and approving the features that are prioritized and developed.”
The next step for the Hyku for Consortia team is to synthesize the feedback provided in this report into a gap assessment. This gap assessment will also include satisfaction survey data, comments from the user community Basecamp forum and meetings, as well as legacy suggestions from earlier phases of the project. This is currently taking the form of a spreadsheet sorting enhancement requests into the following buckets: Metadata, Workflow, and Front-end User Interface.
Following the completion and sharing of the gap assessment, we will gather additional quantitative (via surveys) and qualitative data (via focus groups) about needs and priorities in each of these areas from the Hyku Commons User Group, as well as ascertaining which gaps are true barriers to adoption. Our team will then create user-informed decisions about upcoming development sprints based on this research, and we encourage others working in this space to advance the defined priorities as well.
- What Do Hyku Users Think? Hyku Commons Satisfaction Survey Results
You can download this report here.
In the fall of 2021, as part of our 2021-2023 IMLS grant, the Hyku for Consortia team surveyed users of the collaborative Hyku Commons Repository. The survey gathered baseline data about satisfaction with the Hyku Commons platform and service overall, administrative functions, front end user interface, and support/training provided.
We provided a PDF preview of the questions, and used Google Forms as our data collection instrument. The survey had 16 questions, which were a combination of Likert scale and open ended response. A total of 15 responses from PALNI, PALCI, LOUIS, and VIVA users were recorded, and the anonymous survey results are provided below. We very much appreciated this feedback to help us determine future directions for Hyku. We plan to check back periodically with users to gauge improvement. Hopefully, we’ll be able to report an increase in satisfaction as a result of the developments made throughout the IMLS-supported grant project.
The vast majority of users reported that they are either Satisfied or Very Satisfied (80% combined) with Hyku Commons overall.
Hyku Administrative Functions
Most users report that they are either Satisfied or Very Satisfied (48% combined) with Hyku’s administrative functions.
There are many Haven’t evaluated this or Not Sure responses (42% combined), likely due to the fact that several of our users are new to piloting Hyku and/or haven’t taken a deep dive into all the administrative functions.
Users were most satisfied with Uploading/creating single works, Uploading/creating works in batches, and Adding works to collections, as seen by the number of Very Satisfied responses below.
When looking at Very Unsatisfied, Unsatisfied, and open-ended responses together, we find that users are least satisfied with Existing metadata templates (worktypes), Uploading/creating works in batches, and Repository statistics.
The three Very Unsatisfied responses recorded were for Describing/editing works in batches, Availability of repository activity statistics, and Availability of other repository statistics. The number of Unsatisfied responses are presented below.
The bulk of the open-ended responses called for improvement to administrative functions, and specifically called out the need to customize both metadata and administrative tools.
Open-ended response category Number of responses Metadata customization 8 Repository statistics 6 Uploading/creating works in batches 3 Admin customization 3
Most users report that they are either Satisfied or Very Satisfied (63% combined) with Hyku’s end-user interface.
There were also several Haven’t evaluated this or Not Sure (23% combined) responses in this category.
Users were most satisfied with Usability, Digital object presentation, and Customization options for site design, as seen by the number of Very Satisfied responses below.
When looking at the Very Unsatisfied, Unsatisfied, and open-ended responses together, users were least satisfied with Searching and search results, Metadata display, and Customization options for site design.
The two Very Unsatisfied responses recorded were for Metadata display and Customization options for site design. The number of Unsatisfied responses are presented below.
Some open-ended responses called for improvement to the user interface, especially Customization options for site design.
Open-ended response category Number of responses Customization options for site design 3 Digital object presentation 1 Searching and search results 1 Metadata display 1 Usability 1
Support and Training
Slightly more than half of users report that they are either Satisfied or Very Satisfied (51% combined) with Hyku Commons support and training. A little less than half reported Haven’t evaluated this or Not Sure (49% combined) responses in this category.
Users were most satisfied with Documentation and Help with troubleshooting, as seen by the number of Very Satisfied responses below.
There were no Unsatisfied responses in this category, although there was one open-ended response requesting screenshots/visuals to be added to the documentation.
It’s interesting to note that users expressed both satisfaction and dissatisfaction with some features, for example: Uploading/creating works in batches and Customization options for site design. This will require more investigation to understand fully, but we suspect that users may be happy that a feature exists, but unsatisfied with quirks with its workflow; and/or users might be satisfied with the usability of a feature, but wish it were more customizable.
The data provided by this survey has directly influenced our plans for the next phase of development. We are currently in discussion with developers at Notch8 to implement the following:
- Allinson Flex (a gem providing the building blocks for customizable metadata in Hyku)
- Analytics work from the Oregon Digital project
- Improvements to the Bulkrax bulk import tool. We are also planning to add export functionality.
The Hyku for Consortia team will continue to collect and evaluate both informal and formal feedback on Hyku, and we’ll prioritize future development cycles based on user priorities. We have also started working with Samhaeng, a UX firm out of Denmark, to start our first official phase of user research. This phase will focus on Hyku administrative functions and will produce a report of recommendations for improvements in this area. Stay tuned for more updates!
- Hyku Accessibility audit published on the Hyku for Consortia Shared Repository
The completed accessibility audit for Hyku that Notch8 undertook in preparation for work with The University of Tennessee Knoxville has been released. The audit was conducted on Hyku 3.0 via the PALNI and PALCI Hyku for Consortia application.
For more information and a link to the full report, visit the full write-up at the Hyku blog.
- Seeking UX Consultant
User Experience (UX) Consultant
10-20 hours per week, Short-term contract-based role
Hyku for Consortia seeks a UX Consultant to work with project staff to develop and implement a series of user research activities determining the most useful updates for the Samvera-based Hyku digital repository software.
The UX Consultant will determine the best activities for the project goals, develop resources and plans for activities, carry them out with selected candidates, and assist in the analysis of results. Research activities may include surveys, interviews, focus groups, usability tests or other related feedback mechanisms. The Consultant will work closely with and have the support of the project team to accomplish their goals. Prior experience with user research, excellent communication skills, and attention to detail will be essential in this role.
This is a grant-funded part-time remote-working independent contractor role, with an estimated average of 10-15 hours per week needed to complete contracted deliverables between November 2021 and June 2022 subject to limitations described below. The position will report to the PALNI Executive Director. Flexible scheduling is available for many tasks, but the Consultant must have some availability to attend meetings during Monday-Friday, 11am-5pm EST.
Hyku for Consortia (see https://www.hykuforconsortia.org/) is a partnership of the PALNI and PALCI consortia to increase the flexibility, accessibility, and usability of the multi-tenant repository platform system, Hyku. This project will extend our previous work and improve the national digital repository infrastructure by enhancing Hyku, an open-source platform suitable for access to a broad range of types of materials, addressing needs articulated by diverse stakeholders and consortia and reducing barriers to adoption.
Responsibility and Requirements:
- Demonstrated experience with gathering and analysing user research
- Understanding of user experience and accessibility best practices
- Familiarity with library/archives environments and digital repositories
- Knowledge of the academic library and scholarly research landscape
- Experience leading and facilitating group projects and meetings
- Experience with Samvera repository software a plus
- Detail-oriented, with demonstrated organizational and project management skills
- Demonstrated strength in writing, editing, and other communication skills
- Evidence of ability to work independently and as part of a team in remote work settings
- Proficiency and comfort with using modern collaboration technologies and productivity tools necessary for distributed, remote-work teams, including but not limited to Google’s suite of business tools (Google Docs, Sheets, and Forms), project management software, such as Trello, online survey software, and web conferencing technologies, such as Zoom
- Commitment to a high level of productivity, and excellent communication
Compensation will be based upon delivery of contracted services. Hyku for Consortia anticipates an average of 10-20 hours per week required across the term of the contract, with payment delivered on a monthly schedule based upon successful completion of contracted deliverables. We anticipate a total of 200-245 hours for the set of deliverables we need, and we expect to pay an hourly rate of $45-$55, depending on demonstrated level of experience and expertise. Candidates will be selected based on availability and listed qualifications.
This is an independent contractor position. The contracted party will be responsible for all insurance or other business/employment related expenses, including taxes, benefits, licenses, and other expenses. Alternatively, this role may be filled by an individual employed at a PALNI or PALCI member institution, through an agreement with that institution that contracts to supply services on a time-release basis.
Please send your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact information for three professional references will be required from all applicants invited to interview.
The position is open until filled, with first consideration given to applications received by November 5th.
Equal Opportunity Employer/Diversity and Culture
The most productive and satisfying work environment is one in which work is accomplished in a spirit of mutual trust and respect. That trust and respect should be shown by the manner of interaction between our employees, contractors, participants (those participating in PALNI activities), and people with whom we collaborate. We value positive communication and conversations. We expect people to have different opinions – we all come from different backgrounds and have had different experiences. Those differences allow us to see things from different angles so that our organization can grow and thrive in a constantly changing culture. We do not and will not treat someone differently on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of our activities or operations. See our Respect in the Workplace policy.
- Removing Barriers Project – Development Kickstart
The next phase of the Hyku for Consortia project is off and running, with a small work sprint based on a backlog of known issues uncovered during our previous grant-funded project. This work allows us to maintain the momentum we have built in our previous pilot phase, while we start our user research and accessibility review to define the requirements and scope of work for future, more in depth, development phases. Wherever possible we will contribute development back to the Hyku base code, giving others the opportunity to use these features/configuration options in their Hyku repositories. This sprint is expected to be completed by the end of October, 2021.
Below is a list of items we have in development with Notch8, in what we’re calling “Sprint 0.” These proposed developments will address some metadata and worktype updates and user interface enhancements stemming from issues project staff and pilot participants have reported. In particular, we are focusing on improving functionality to our Open Educational Resource (OER) worktype (created under our previous grant, specs here) and overall enhancements to functionality that better equip Hyku for use as an OER Repository. Both PALCI and PALNI have work in progress on respective OER repositories.
The PALCI OER Repository pilot, funded in part by LSTA and the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, is envisioned as an opportunity for PALCI and the Affordable Learning PA community to evaluate the costs and value of running a repository for OER materials created by authors from PA institutions. Materials created as part of the new PA GOAL (Grants for Open and Affordable Learning) program will be deposited and made available publicly. In previous grant years, ALPA funds were allocated to support the initial development of Hyku’s OER worktype, so this is a practical continuation of that investment.
PALNI’s PALSave Course Material Repository is currently available in its beta release and will be improved by the developments in sprint 0. The repository is an online resource to help faculty identify open educational resources (OER) and other zero-cost course materials. It includes materials selected for use in the PALSave Course Redesign Grants Program, including some new OER created by faculty at PALNI institutions.
Hyku for Consortia: Reducing Barriers to Adoption Sprint 0
Metadata and Work Type Updates
Creative Commons (CC) Licence Updates
- We will update the selectable CC licences to the most recent versions.
OER Relation Field
- We will implement the relation field for the OER worktype. These will display as hyper-links to related content.
Updates to Work Types
- OER vocabularies will be updated to implement “discipline” correctly, as in the ETD work type. We will also update all work types to make metadata field mappings conformant across them.
User Interface Enhancements
In-App PDF Viewer
- PDFs will be viewable in-app utilizing the Universal Viewer. This feature will be behind a feature flipper so that it can be turned on or off.
- We will improve functionality of the Citations feature by discarding the nonfunctional EndNote, Zotero, and Mendeley options and implementing the MLA, APA, and Chicago citation generator.
Improvement to Alphabetical Sort Ability
- We will update Solr to push work, collection, and subcollection lists to alphabetical ordering and search options. Any page that lists or browses content should be alphabetical by default, except search results, which should default to Relevance, but include an alphabetical sort option.
Remove Social Media Buttons
- We will remove social media link-out buttons
Hide Related Versions and Items
- We will prevent the “Related Versions and Items” section from displaying if there is no related content to display. This includes related adjustment work to all theme templates.
Remove Depositor’s Name from Homepage Features
- We will remove the Depositor name from display across the user facing site.
Remove Size Field from Collection Pages
- Collection pages currently show size in KB, but it is broken and isn’t helpful. We will remove this from the application.
Improve Cultural Show Page UI
- The Cultural show page is configured primarily for image works, which use the IIIF viewer. When works that do not use the image viewer display, some of the elements, especially the Collection metadata table, populate in constrained dimensions that need to be optimized.
Adjust Justification Display
- When Featured Works and Recent Uploads are flipped off, but Featured Researcher is on, collections are justified to the far left of the screen, but featured researcher resets the justification to an odd spacing. Ideally, Browse Collections and Featured Researcher will toggle smoothly. This will require testing and implementation of many conditional situations.