A digital library can be underpinned by a search platform such as Apache Solr, which facilitates faceted search services. In my previous posts, I have described the development of a Solr-based search engine infrastructure, involving metadata and rich binary documents indexing of multi-sourced data, viz., the CERN Library book data, content from a digital repository (Fedora). The search engine only provides underpinning services. It does not provide a user interface.
This post outlines the work involved in prototyping a digital library user interface - UX2 Library. It describes the UX design, development made with respect to an associated open source technology. We have recently tested the prototype with a group of users from the University of Edinburgh and published the results: summary and report. In my next post, I shall propose an agile technique based on 'user stories', to address the usability issues arising from this user study.
For a general introduction to both faceted search and Apache Solr, see "Developing Faceted Search Using Apache Solr, Part 1".