I am the project lead at Winchester School of Art (WSA) as a partner institute in a JISC funded project called Practising Open Education: Developing the Potential of Open Educational Resources (OER) in Art Design and Media. Within the School of Art we have access to the Universities teaching and learning repository EdShare (the link posted here).
EdShare is designed to help teachers, lecturers, other University staff and students manage their teaching and learning resources. EdShare users can choose to share their contributions with the world.
I am a big enthusiast of the system and concept, its one big ambition is to help the University contribute educational resources globally.
EdShare was developed by ECS and out of the focus groups at WSA there is a need to promote the use of this resource for Art & Design OER materials (as we have it) but what was more evident was that the user experience and design of the system was lacking. Simular comments were made of our e-Education platform blackboard, however this is a closed system and not something the project could affect much change over.
Part of the action plan for WSA is to re-skin and reorganise the content with design principles and UX in mind to encourage participation.
I plan to do some usability testing and use this community, get satisfaction, mailchimp and others as feedback mechanisms for staff, students, developers to comment on the use/look & feel of EdShare.
With this information and by applying core design principles and the latest web design techniques, I plan use semantic/web standards based HTML, CSS and JQuery to reformat / restyle EdShare. Along with consideration for mobile first, media queries and the like.
An good example of what I mean would be Andy Clarkes redesign of wikileaks albeit it very simple changes they are very effective.
I am starting with usability testing using Silverback and will be asking students and staff to perform a few tasks on the current version.
The redesign of the site will also coincide with the creation of workshops designed for Art staff and students at WSA focusing on good working practice and issues like copyright and encouraging open content sharing.
Comments and thoughts on current site very welcome and/or suggests on usability testing methods/ideas.