Design & Discovery

The Design & Discovery unit of the Library Information Technology division (LIT) combines the essential services formerly provided by Web Systems and User Experience, along with LIT-wide program management. Our projects and initiatives involve staff from across LIT, the Library, the University of Michigan campus, and beyond. Contact the Design & Discovery team at

What We Do

LIT-wide Program Management

We support programs across LIT by:

  • coordinating strategic initiatives
  • designing user-centered IT service models and cross-division workflows
  • promoting the adoption of technology policies and standards
  • coordinating IT project and resource stewardship initiatives, such as the Front Door project proposal process
  • providing analytics-driven guidance for public discovery, access, and content systems
  • leading research efforts in the use of internal library data

User Experience

We promote user-centered design, while providing leadership and expertise in UX strategy, user research, assessment, content creation and management, and web accessibility.

Front-End Web Application Development

We create applications and employ mastery in front-end programming, user interface architecture, content management systems, and supporting applications. Our work powers infrastructure and services including:

  • User interface architecture and supporting frameworks for use across IT applications
  • Content management systems for online exhibits (Omeka), Michigan Publishing, and other library units
  • The library website, library staff intranet, and other library projects
  • MLibrary Search and ArticlesPlus

Who We Are

Program Management

  • Ken Varnum, Senior Program Manager for Discovery, Delivery, and Library Analytics
  • Meghan Musolff, Program Manager for IT Services, Training, and Assessment

User Experience

  • Heidi Burkhardt, User Experience and Content Strategy Specialist
  • Ben Howell, User Experience and Accessibility Specialist
  • New UX position coming soon!

Front-End Web Application Development

Page maintained by Heidi Steiner Burkhardt
Last modified: 12/26/2017