A self-service tool for creating websites that showcase digital collections

2014 – present

Spotlight is an open source project intended to enable libraries and other cultural heritage institutions to easily create high-quality online exhibits from content in their digital collections. Spotlight provides a self-service, forms-based user interface that allows exhibit-builders to customize their exhibit's homepage, configure search and browse features, and to build media-rich feature pages that highlight and contextualize their collections.

Although Spotlight was primarily intended to serve as a means for curators, archivists, and others at Stanford University to more easily produce attractive full-featured digital exhibits, as I begin user research it was clear that this was a solution that could also benefit other libraries and cultural heritage institutions. So while my user interviews were conducted at Stanford, I approached the research and design stages of the project with the goal of designing a highly generalizable solution. To that end, the Spotlight product team was very active in seeking feedback from the digital library community, both before and during development.

A handful of institutions, including national libraries and university libraries, are currently testing and moving towards adopting Spotlight as a way to showcase digital collections at their institutions.

My Role: I did user research, user experience design, visual design, and some front-end development.

More Information

Spotlight informational site Link
Website with links to more information about Spotlight.
Stanford exhibits Link
Spotlight exhibits publicly available at Stanford.
GitHub code repository for Spotlight Link
Public repository for the Spotlight code.
GitHub code repository for Stanford Exhibits Link
Public repository for Stanford's implementation of Spotlight.

Presentations and Blog Posts

Presentation at Digital Library Forum 2014 Link
"Spotlight: A Self-Service Tool for Showcasing Digital Collections." 2014 Digital Library Forum. November 17, 2014.
Stanford University Libraries blog post Link
Geisler, Gary. "Update on Spotlight: The Stanford University Libraries exhibits platform." Stanford University Libraries website. November 3, 2015.