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Background

To date, Nuxeo-based complex objects on Calisphere have been displayed in a simple, viewer-plus-carousel format:

Although this display has worked pretty well for some objects (namely, book-like, multi-image objects), it has been insufficient for a variety of other types of complex objects and use cases.

The plan to rectify this issue includes two parts:

  1. A short-term "hack" of the current display to unblock certain Nuxeo object types from being pushed to Calisphere
  2. A long-term project to design and implement better and more flexible complex object support

This release represents the completion of part 1: the short-term "hack."

What's Changed

We made a number of small changes to the current viewer-plus-carousel format that will unblock some non-image content types and––we hope––improve the overall usability of all current complex objects. (These changes were based on requirements we identified with Nuxeo users.)

Here's what we did:

  • Removed the teal "how to use the carousel" banner, because it interfered with viewer controls and didn't assist usage
  • Changed the format indicator to indicate when objects contain multiple formats
  • Fixed a bug in the behavior of the orange box indicating which component is selected; this was previously stuck on the parent object thumbnail
  • Added navigational information about the number of components in the set and some "jump" options for users to get a better sense of the scope of the object
  • Changed "cover page" (parent level thumbnail for objects without a parent level file) to a "group-like" icon to indicate the complex object's top level (since "page" does not address the variety of formats)
  • Added captions (title field in metadata) and changed the look of non-image thumbnails in the carousel to make them more usable
  • For audio components, added a caption (title field in metadata) directly underneath the audio player
  • For text file components, added language to indicate to the user that more pages may be present upon download
Image set from UCM 

Better "top level" thumbnail indication and behavior

Better sense of the scope of the object and navigation options

Sound set from UCR 

Captions and better look of images for sound files
Text set from UCSF 

Some indication that the texts may have additional pages

Still Working On...

There are a few features we had hoped to implement but have not yet tackled. These include:

  • Adding an icon to the thumbnail image for complex objects in search results, to indicate to the user that more files are present than just the top item
  • Changing Calisphere search to allow multi-format objects to appear under more than one facet (e.g. an oral history with text and sound would appear under both facets)
  • Adding arrows to the viewer to allow users to page forward and backward through the object components

We'll be strategizing on the timing of these features and how we might do them in tandem with, or in advance of, the broader Complex Object 2.0 project.

We'd love to hear from you about these changes and whether you encounter any issues––keeping in mind that this user experience will change again within the next year, to address the long-term goal of making the complex object display truly awesome.

oacops@cdlib.org 

Thank you

Many thanks to the staff at UCI, UCM, UCR, and UCSF who identified and reviewed the requirements that guided this short-term solution and continue to inform the long-term project!

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