From Crud to Cream: Imagining a Rich Scholarly Repository Interface
Keywords:Human-computer interaction, Digital scholarly editions, Experimental interface design
This article addresses the design of a dynamic repository interface to support numerous scholarly activities. Starting with the four fundamental functions associated with persistent storage — create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) — we tested, as an organizing rubric for the interface, the acronym CREAM: Create (represent, illustrate); Read (sample, read); Enhance (refer, annotate, process); Analyze (search, select, visualize, mine, cluster); and Manage (track, label, transform). Based on a card-sorting exercise conducted with researchers, we conclude that a slightly modified rubric of CREAMS offers a useful starting point that emphasizes the enriched functionality a scholarly repository or similarly complex digital environment requires, as well as the immense challenge of designing conceptually clear interfaces, even for a relatively homogenous community of researchers.