Amberly Russell
Digital Media

The University of Texas at Austin 

Degree: Master of Science in Information Studies 

Class: Digital Libraries, INF385S 

Type: Group Work, 3 members 

The following is an example of the scope for this project that my group performed for Texas After Violence Project (TAVP). We also created a video presentation of our work at the bottom of this page. We worked as a team by dividing the project scope into our individual strengths. My team was incredibly supportive and responsive.


One of the biggest lessons I learned regarding this work is that my passion still lies in being a liaison for groups of people in order to facilitate understanding. One thing I would do differently is to communicate throughout the UX process with my team more instead of just waiting until I collected and composed the results of user group interviews perfectly. I can be a perfectionist and like to wait until my ducks are in a row with composition of materials to present to the team. I really wanted to not only learn more about metadata here, but to delve deeper into agile methodologies with this project in order to release myself from the burden of perfectionism and become a more effective team communicator.

Project Scope 

Texas After Violence Project (TAVP), a community-based archive, is transitioning its digital collection from the content management system Glifos to Mukurtu. TAVP’s collection consists of oral histories by individuals who have been impacted by state-based violence in Texas. Mukurtu centers user-created information, organization, and digital heritage--an orientation that aligns well with TAVP’s goals to “shift narrative power to marginalized and oppressed communities” (TAVP website). Digital heritage items comprise Mukurtu online collections, each belonging to at least one user/contributing community, cultural protocol that dictates access to that item, and category to organize the item within the Mukurtu site. We outlined specific features of Mukurtu and offer recommendations to TAVP based on these features. These recommendations were built into each section, to more easily facilitate their implementation with regard to specific features. Furthermore, we used these conclusions to inform additional recommendations for TAVP partners, the Inside Books Project (IBP) and the Forced Trajectory Project (FTP). 

Research Questions 

  • How should the Mukurtu platform be set up to support the needs of TAVP and its collections users?
  • What is an effective metadata schema to organize TAVP collections in Mukurtu?
  • How can collections be migrated to Mukurtu while retaining or creating organizational elements to better         accommodate the use of  these collections by different communities? 

My Role

Amberly Russell - UX Manager

I was the user group representative for this project. Over the course of two weeks I conducted interviews with six individuals representing major user groups for Texas After Violence Project (TAVP) in order to evaluate collections including partner collections, Inside Books Project (IBP) archive and the Forced TrajectoryProject (FTP) archive. Interviews were based around Mukurtu's use of categories, communities, and cultural protocols regarding the TAVP collections, IBP archive, and FTP archive.

Initial interview and research

First, I participated in the initial client interview to determine the role I would play in this project. When our client mentioned “user groups” I decided to be their representative in order to make their voices heard while we made important decisions for the foundation of managing the project outcomes. The client meeting held via ZOOM was a huge success with gathering information about the user groups, access levels, and what communities will be created for Mukurtu. We discussed the need for restricted access for certain materials and public access for the three main archives TAVP,  FTP, and IVP. Our client broke down some of the subgroups within the three main archives like restricting access to just families members of police violence for materials to be shared only with other families and not to be made public. During that meeting I received a list of seven individuals to contact for an interview and was able to schedule five interviews in the two week window I had planned.

Two Founder interviews, prep, research, and documentation

To prepare for these two 45 min interviews I researched the organization, their founders, and history so I could be prepared for the interview.  I made sure that the conversation was easy and organized in a way that facilitated comfort in sharing information. The interviews went really well and provided us many opportunities for recommendations surrounding the Mukurtu’s use of communities, cultural protocols, and categories.

Three community member interviews, prep, documentation

Additionally, our client connected me with three TAVP community member user group representatives. Each interview went really well and involved preparation time, scheduling, the actual interview itself, and documentation of the interviews to inform our Mukurtu recommendations.

Documentation of the interviews and personas were made by me and available in our Mukurtu document. I did the graphic design and video editing for our final research presentation and we all took the lead at different times setting up documents required by this class. I also created the Statement of Work using an agile methodology for each group member.

Using Format