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The user-centered requirements in this document were derived from reviewing the usage scenarios presented at the Variations on Video Project Participant meeting. After we completed this exercise, we also brainstormed possible requirements not covered by the scenarios we reviewed (see What's Missing, below) as well brainstorming possible alternatives for an overarching Product Concept (also below).

Reserves Coordinator/Staff; Project service manager; Archivist; Librarian

  • creates digitization request
  • creates reserve list
  • makes a requested clip available to faculty member (e.g., URL)
  • tracks progress of digitization, description, other preparatory work
  • investigate rights to answer questions about usage
  • manages usage of content according to policy
  • notifies external researcher of time-limited availability of item

Digitizer (May be same as above)

  • creates digital video files suitable for ingest (could be preservation level, production master...)
  • puts video in system
  • imports bibliographic information
  • adds structure information about segments
  • adds rights/access information
  • adds captions/transcript
  • notifies coordinator when work is completed
  • investigates reported problems, diagnoses and repairs if possible
  • bulk-loads files and metadata purchased with streaming rights for differing periods of time

QA (could be student)

  • selects video from queue
  • marks or annotates spots where there is a problem
  • notifies digitizer of problems
  • approves video for publication/release to streaming server


  • accesses video from a mobile device
  • accesses video from a laptop, at home, during class
  • accesses video from campus wireless or home network
  • authenticates
  • browses reserve lists
  • selects a video to watch
  • navigates to selected segment
  • bookmark locations within the video
  • organize bookmarks
  • creates a playlist of clips for comparison and closer study
  • uses viewing/annotation/analysis (or whatever functionality) equally with library and non-library content
  • uploads self-produced video for peer and instructor feedback (like blog commenting)
  • view 2 videos side-by-side to compare
  • references clips in a paper so that the instructor or peers can click to view
  • decides when to share annotations (with professor, with peers)
  • figures out rights issues with sharing/publishing
  • searches OPAC for items, clicks to view digitized item if available


  • searches course video library for clips
  • identifies and requests clips to be created for use in the course
  • adds identifying information to the clip for students
  • uses thumbnails to navigate clips
  • collects clips from different sources, including licensed databases or the open web, so that they are all accessible in one place (playlist, folder)
  • plays video in class
  • comments on student videos, either privately or for the whole class to see
  • views 2 videos side-by-side to compare
  • creates segments/clips for use in class
  • adds commentary (annotations, drawings) to video segments or frames
  • references clips in a paper so that readers can click to view, in perpetuity
  • determines whether annotations can be modified by students or not
  • determines whether students can see each other's annotations
  • investigates rights issues to determine usage
  • requests an item (owned by their department) to be digitized for class
  • downloads selected clips for use at conference or in classroom
  • enables access to some items for class use, documenting the usage

Subject Specialist (within or outside library)

  • describes video content to be ingested, such as title, background information, tags and keywords, etc., to support later discovery when cataloger creates MARC record
  • transcribes hard-to-hear sections

External Scholar

  • authenticates for use of system from another institution
  • view videos, playlists
  • adds to a playlist
  • annotates videos
  • locates an item of interest 
  • requests access to item of interest, which may not yet be digitized

What's missing?

These are possible requirements not addressed by the existing usage scenarios.

  • high-stakes assessment
  • distance learning
  • commenting for peer review (publishing workflow) or student assessment (rating of comments)
  • copy-editing of annotations
  • 3rd-party analysis tools: keyframe detection, visualization...
  • reporting and analytics (# of times video accessed, etc.)
  • accessibility
  • archiving, preservation

Product concept

These are alternatives to consider for a possible overarching product concept. The idea is to have our development driven by one product concept (or perhaps several complementary ones) rather than trying to do everything on this list.

  1. Reserves markup layer. For text, audio, video, images. Or just for time-based media? Maybe not just "reserves"? Course-related. eReserves 2.0.
  2. Academic library video uploader for online access. Easy for libraries w/o strong tech support.
  3. Seamlessly integrated course reserves access across media types, within flexible access control and copyright management.
  4. Back office library workflow for online video. Online video collection management system.
  5. Supporting the delivery, use and management of digital media content for research, teaching, and learning. Digital media delivered for you.
  6. The Variations Method. A set of recommendations, best practices. (for #5)
  7. Digital video library in a box (or on a cloud?). Management tools, workflow for ingest, simple access tools. Or could broaden to include other media.
  8. Hosted version of #7. or #5.
  9. Media management and publishing services toolkit. Selectable components/modules. Could include an API layer. Phased buildout.
  10. Rich media for Sakai (or some other targeted CMS/VLE).
  11. Video ingest tool. (Matterhorn does this now.)
  12. Built by libraries, for libraries so that libraries can deliver (video/audio) to users, by users.

Can focus more on end-user experience & tools, or focus more on the library's needs to manage and deliver content.

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