ePrints.FRI - University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Computer and Information Science

Designing a graphical user interface for digital scholarly edition of Freising Manuscripts

Pija Balaban and Alen Ajanović and Narvika Bovcon Designing a graphical user interface for digital scholarly edition of Freising Manuscripts. In: Digital Scholarly Editions as Interfaces, 23.9.2016 - 24.9.2016, Centre for Information Modelling – Graz University, Gradec, Avstrija. (Unpublished)

PDF (Plakat) - Presentation
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.

Download (21Mb)


    The Freising manuscripts (Brižinski spomeniki) are the first recorded occurrence of the Slovenian language, written closely before the year 1000. The Institute Of Slovenian Literature and Literary Sciences of the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU) has published, in 2007, a digital scholarly edition following the TEI XML guidelines, which is published on the eZISS (Digital critical editions of Slovenian literature) project website (http://nl.ijs.si/e-zrc). The static HTML presentation serves a basic purpose to showcase the information, different transcriptions, facsimile images, sound recordings, and scholarly commentaries. However, the current website of the Freising manuscripts (and similarly the whole eZISS project) is visually outdated and very difficult to navigate. To address this issue, we have been exploring new, modern ways of interacting with the TEI XML edition. By analyzing existing digital scholarly editions (in the TEI standard) produced by prominent research institutions worldwide we have identified a common problem: the end user has trouble navigating and finding content on the sites that present TEI XML sources. This is especially problematic because the content on these websites is typically structured in a complex, nested way. Another visible flaw is incompatibility of these websites with mobile screen devices, which creates an unappealing user experience. Overall, the websites mediating TEI documents haven’t been upgraded in years, many of the sites appear dated and some links just don’t work. In this paper we will present the problems that we have encountered when designing a friendlier, technologically up-to-date user interface for the Freising manuscripts website. The first major issue that we tackled was the site's navigation. To solve the problem we had to figure out the existing web of links and subpages that the current presentation site holds and then we had to organize the content in new, clearly defined and related groups that are presented to the user in a structured way. We have turned to the original source files (scholarly edition in XML) and built a presentation system that facilitates an easy approach to all the information in the electronic edition. We implemented a solution with menus, because we wanted the user not to become disoriented when choosing to view (only) selected contents. In addition, any scrolling action is indicated with an animation, the pages hold visual and graphic representations of where extra content is located, and the location within the site-map is always shown which tells the user exactly what he or she is currently viewing. We used the principles of graphic design and user interface design to show information on screens of different devices as a visually coherent system. The selection and use of typographies of different sizes, the selection of an adequate colour scheme, the spatial arrangement of content, use of grid systems, formal consistency of all graphical elements, hints about interaction, these are the building blocks of a well-designed, meaningful and intuitive interface. We have developed an interface-system that facilitates the comparison between several representations, transcriptions and translations of Freising manuscripts, since this is the primary use of the elements of this scholarly edition. We have proposed viewing options for predefined user groups, such as a non-scholarly user that would like to see the visual appearance of the documents and listen to the (reconstructed) sound of Slovene language from the 10th century, or the use in curricula that juxtaposes the critical transcription with the transcription in contemporary Slovene. By ticking the checkboxes for different transcriptions and translations the scholarly user can activate as many parallel presentations as necessary for research purposes. We have tested several arrangements of parallel content presentation and argued for the best solutions. With the project we will hopefully be able to present this very important cultural information in a more organized and attractive way, useful for scholarly and general audiences, while also proposing a solution for any similar TEI XML electronic editions. References • Bovcon, Narvika. „Jezik gibljivih slik v računalniških vizualizacijah literarnozgodovinske podatkovne zbirke.“ Primerjalna književnost, 37(2), 119–133, 235–242. Slovensko društvo za primerjalno književnost, 2014. • Burdick, Anne and Drucker, Johanna and Lunenfeld, Peter and Presner, Todd and Schnapp, Jeffrey. Digital_Humanities. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2012. • Digital Humanities Awards. 2012–2015. http://dhawards.org. • Ogrin, Matija (Ed.). Znanstvene izdaje in elektronski medij: razprave. Studia litteraria: Založba ZRC, 2005. • Text Encoding Initiative. http://www.tei-c.org/.

    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
    Keywords: XML, TEI, digital scholarly editions, GUI, interface, graphic design, responsive design
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Computer and Information Science
    Divisions: Faculty of Computer and Information Science > Computer Vision Laboratory
    Item ID: 3646
    Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2016 12:59
    Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 12:59
    URI: http://eprints.fri.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/3646

    Actions (login required)

    View Item