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University of Michigan School of Information


Project Examples

The project examples below represent just a sample of the diverse and dynamic work accomplished to date through client-based courses and programs. These cases, while not exhaustive, serve as a window into the possibilities that can result from collaborating with UMSI students on a project for your organization. As you brainstorm your own project ideas, explore the incredible outcomes of previous projects to learn more about what UMSI students can do.

User Experience

students stand next to a fossil

In the User Experience Capstone course, students worked with the Smithsonian to provide design recommendations for the Voyager 3D platform, a digital collection of significant artifacts like fossils and space shuttles. This resulted in an improved user experience for a wider audience, from museum-goers to educators. Check out the video and article related to this project for more information.

Learn more about hosting a project through SI 487: User Experience Final Project.

Students talking together at a table covered in sticky notes.

In the Needs Assessment and Usability Evaluation course, students worked with Google to evaluate the usability of Flutter, an open-source UI toolkit primarily maintained by the company. The client for this project shared that the students’ work “raised awareness of user needs and pain points for a product used by tens of thousands of users each month, allowing for a more equitable transfer of scientific knowledge.” 

Learn more about hosting a project through SI 622: Needs Assessment and Usability Evaluation.

Three students standing next to a tri-fold poster titled "Accessible Disc Golf." Two of them are holding discs

In the User Experience Research and Design mastery course, students worked with the West Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind to develop an app prototype aimed at making disc golf more accessible. The app transforms visual cues into auditory ones to help blind and visually impaired players navigate the course. Check out the video and article related to this project for more information.  

Learn more about hosting a project through SI 699: Mastery User Experience Research and Design.

Three students talking together at a table with sticky notes on it

In the User-Centered Agile Development mastery course, students worked with City Charter High School to create an interactive platform for online orientation. The client for this project reported, “This project will have an incredible impact on our school by allowing students and families to have better access to information. From day one, the UMSI student team on this project showcased a remarkable dedication to understanding the needs and preferences of their end-users.”

Learn more about hosting a project through SI 699: User-Centered Agile Development.

Data Analysis

Three students writing on and arranging sticky notes on a table.

In the Information Analytics Capstone course, students worked with the Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago to analyze and visualize U.S. Census data that grassroot, nonprofit organizations can use to advocate for their communities when communicating with policymakers. According to the client for this project, “The students' work elevated our organization with data tools that can support our organization's stories of service and action.” 

Learn more about hosting a project through SI 485: Information Analytics Project.

Two people looking at data visualizations on a laptop.

In the Big Data Analytics mastery course, students worked with a retail and manufacturing company to create a dashboard that visualized sales data from their website and various dealer locations. The company plans to use this dashboard to drive more targeted marketing efforts, better product placements and an overall enhancement in business strategies and partnerships.

Learn more about hosting a project through SI 699: Big Data Analytics.

Library, Archives and Digital Curation

Two people smiling and posing between shelves of boxes in an archive.

In the Preserving Information Resources course, students worked with the Gladwin County District Library to evaluate the state of a digital collection of scanned newspapers, maps, and photos and develop a strategic preservation plan for these materials. The client for this project shared that, “The students are so cutting edge, and their recommendations will allow us to transition these items from storage to  preservation and display.”

Learn more about hosting a project through SI 581: Preserving Information Resources in a Digital Age.

Two people sitting at a desktop computer together.

In the Assessment in Cultural Institutions course, students worked with the National Rural Transit Assistance Program to assess the organization’s resource library. Students provided recommendations for resources that should be included in the collection, which will “improve planning and research for transportation coordination throughout rural and tribal areas in the U.S,” according to the client for this project.

Learn more about hosting a project through SI 633: Assessment in Cultural Institutions.

A person standing on a balcony in a public library looking over the first floor. There are bookshelves and a window behind him.

In the Special Projects in Librarianship and Archival Practice mastery course, students worked with the Swedish American Museum to establish a standardized, non-circulating library collection that was accessible and usable to the public. Students provided strategies, recommendations and a set of implementable processes to allow visitors to engage with the museum’s library materials for the first time.

Learn more about hosting a project through SI 699: Special Projects in Librarianship and Archival Practice.

A student sitting at a desktop computer with two monitors talking to another student who is standing.

In the Digital Curation mastery course, a student worked with the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology to centralize their document management strategy and enhance data findability through the development of a repository. The client shared that this project “streamlined how our organization has been able to maintain files and track/protect permissions in a way that exceeded my expectations.” Check out the final poster for this project for more information. 

Learn more about hosting a project through SI 699: Digital Curation.

Community/Civic Engagement

Three students standing in front of a sign that says Bentley Historical Library

In the Engaging with Communities course, students worked with the Bentley Historical Library to determine how to increase community usage of the library’s archival resources. Students re-envisioned the library’s physical spaces to make them more welcoming and identified website improvements to alleviate visitor apprehension. Check out the article related to this project for more information.

Learn more about hosting a project through SI 547: Engaging with Communities.

A person giving a talking next to a podium. There is a UMSI banner next to him.

In the Citizen Interaction Design coursestudents worked with the City of Dearborn to identify strategies for improving the effectiveness of providing translated communications for city residents. The client for this project shared that “our team will be able to reference the students’ design model and workflow diagram to deliver translated communications to our resident and business stakeholders in a sustained and equitable manner.” 

Learn more about hosting a project through SI 538: Citizen Interaction Design

Social Media

Polaroid photos of students holding UMSI pennants

In the Social Media in Organizations course, students worked with the nonprofit organization Stand with Trans, to explore the effectiveness of their social media content and presence among their target audience. According to the client, “The students’ recommendations will help us to adjust how we are using social media, what graphics look like, and how we can have more of an impact.” 

Learn more about hosting a project through SI 335: Social Media in Organizations.

Co-Curricular Programs

Four students standing in a green house surrounded by trees and plants.

student organization provided consulting for the Matthaei Botanical Gardens to help them identify the best database software to manage their vast plant collections. This not only modernized data management for the staff but also enriched the visitor experience through a new interactive database. Check out the article related to this project for more information.

Learn more about hosting a project through Student Organization - Engaged Learning Leaders (SO-ELL)

A student looking through boxes of 35mm slides at a desk

During Alternative Spring Break, students collaborated with various organizations across the U.S. to tackle information challenges. Projects focused on a range of topics, such as improving donor engagement systems for Dress for Successenhancing search interfaces and analyzing data for the Library of Congress, and inventorying collections for the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. Check out the article related to these projects for more information.

A student kneeling in the grass and holding a gardening spade.

During a Data Dive program, students analyzed data provided by Washtenaw County’s Rain Garden program to identify patterns related to residents' motivation to build rain gardens. Students' analysis will help community partners better understand how to effectively encourage others to build rain gardens, which not only benefit the environment but also provide aesthetically pleasing landscapes. Check out the article related to this project for more information.