Our designer, Jen Liu an Emerging Media Master's student at Carnegie Mellon University, is helping us brainstorm ways to organize the new content management system and image annotation tool for the expanded online teaching collection at www.macroinvertebrates.org. For the first round iterations, she began by sketching potential screens layouts in her notebook and scanned them in for us to look at and discuss. Some of the important features surfaced were the need to have a visual overview of the entire database, and have the insects organized from the beginning in the taxonomic hierarchy that biologists use—Genera [that's the plural of Genus] within Families, Families within Orders, etc). If you looked at the original forms for this information, you'll see a lot of the same sorts of information, just organized all in one place. We are still working on designing this CMS-- early paper prototyping of the digital system is a really helpful step because it allows the team to flexibly to imagine the system and possible design directions without yet committing to downstream solutions.
An interdisciplinary team