JSTOR Forum is an app that allows institutions to manage, describe, and distribute their digital collections and projects to increase discoverability and use.
ObjectiveBring JSTOR Forum into the ITHAKA ecosystem which leverages agile development practices and CI/CD to bring updates and value to users on a much more frequent basis than ever before, and give it a look and feel that is more consistent with ITHAKA's products like JSTOR and Artstor.
ProcessRebuild the front-end of an existing application while completing an updated and more modern user interface and user experience with feedback heard from existing partners while the back-end team works to migrate services that allow us to make use of ITHAKA's infrastructure for continuous delivery.
SolutionA Vue.js app with tons of flexible, customizable functionality that allow users to upload and manage their digital media collections as well as publish them for use by researchers, teachers and students at other institutions.
Some of the biggest challenges when working on this application have been finding ways to communicate to users the sheer quantity of workflows that exist to accomplish similar tasks. Since the application has such flexible use cases, we try to focus on finding ways to highlight and refine the most common pathways while leaving existing workflows accessible to our seasoned users.
What I Learned
Working on this project was extremely rewarding. Not only for my personal development as a front-end developer but also as a member of an agile team working to accomplish a very large goal. For a year we worked to refine our process as a software development team who was responsible for the entire spectrum of delivering a software including design, development, automated end to end testing, deployment, etc. Learning how to be an effective multi-discipline team member was an invaluable experience, not to mention all the lessons learned along the way about application architecture and how to build apps with an eye towards future functionality and feature updates.
After the rebuild, we have been conducting design sprints and user testing that helps us conceptualize, build and evaluate new features for our users. Features added so far this year have been related to viewing, filtering and publishing content so that our users are able to effectively upload and share their content in meaningful ways.