Fort Smith Historical Society Journal discovery interface

Within the first month of starting my position at UAFS - Boreham Library, I was presented with the need to replace a legacy interface built in TWiki that was preventing us from shutting down our old site. Many options were discussed and there was some division among the vested parties and I worked both diplomatically and programmatically to create a solution.

The result was not perfect, but was functional. Soon, the Google always in Beta effect took over. Sometimes in my own interaction, sometimes from others saying "wouldn't it be nice if...".  I also did some on-the-fly usability testing with students (keeping my hands behind my back and not telling them what to do as I watched them navigate the interface.) Added to this, were Google Analytics features showing me how the page was being used.

After a myriad of tweaks, the code needed a major revision, so I rewrote it from the ground up and the new interface represents a unique discovery tool for an impromptu pdf repository.

FSHSJ discovery interface

There are still plenty of wouldn't-it-be-nice-ifs including database normalization and automating the uploading of new index data and pdfs.