Experts and Novices: Redesigning user interfaces for the White Rose Repositories


This paper will explore the impact of expert and novice user needs on the development of repository deposit interfaces. White Rose Libraries (The University Libraries of Leeds, Sheffield and York) manage two open access repositories, one for research papers (WRRO) and one for etheses (WREO). Significant development work has been undertaken over the last three years on both systems. During the process of collecting user requirements, it became clear the users of the two systems have very different levels of expertise. Those using WREO are predominantly novices, postgraduates using it once to upload their thesis. Users of WRRO are primarily experts, Library staff with substantial experience of reviewing and depositing papers. These differences in user needs will be explored further, showing the approaches we took to gathering user requirements. This paper will then set out how these requirements were translated to the development of the repositories using a design process that was both iterative and collaborative. It was vital that the redesign work met the needs of all three institutions so collaboration was central to the approach taken. The paper will conclude with lessons learned and advice for anyone embarking on a similar redesign of the submission process.

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