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Simplifying the search experience – resisting the lure of shiny, new technology Ronán Kennedy Monica Crump NUI Galway.

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Presentation on theme: "Simplifying the search experience – resisting the lure of shiny, new technology Ronán Kennedy Monica Crump NUI Galway."— Presentation transcript:

1 Simplifying the search experience – resisting the lure of shiny, new technology Ronán Kennedy Monica Crump NUI Galway

2 School Institute Name to go here

3 Why we did what we did Some things we did, we shouldnt have Some things we didnt do, we should have How we found what we should have done and what we shouldnt have done

4 Early 2009 Primo Implementation Group Interface Group subject librarians; research librarians; e-resource librarian, etc.

5 Early 2009 Web Group Primo to have prime real-estate space on the Library homepage primo lite

6 School Institute Name to go here

7 Initial Interface Work Demos of out-of-the-box version Examples of global sites – NYU, UAE, etc Interface Group members liaison role

8 Concerns – Radical Departure New interface could be radically different Big departure from Aleph (function & cosmetics) Academic opposition Possible training problems

9 School Institute Name to go here


11 Conclusion #1 – too conservative Concerns heavily shaped our vision - tried hard to integrate the past - fear of academics We tried to mould Primo into something it wasnt

12 Concerns – Dumbing Down One single simple interface = bad information literacy Primo should be a flagship model of good pedagogical practise Multiple tabs made sense to us

13 Lots of cooks in the kitchen Subjective opinions are always difficult Is it exposing our resources appropriately?Is it Font sizes! source

14 Mid 2009 Interface group assembled the jigsaw pieces Model followed closely with NYU, Iowa, British Library, UEA Time to caress the divine details….

15 Error Checking Librarians love detail! A lot of librarians means lots of errors being found Sub-conscious opinions being formed?

16 School Institute Name to go here

17 Perfection at all costs? Did we get bogged down in making sure it was perfect? Special Collections Special Collections Special Collections Reference Strong Room Librarians want perfection – users want good enough Risking not seeing the wood for the trees

18 Customisation – Tread Carefully Primo is *very* flexible – lots of options

19 School Institute Name to go here

20 Customisation – Tread Carefully Primo is *very* flexible – lots of options Tempting to generate completely local feel - can be timely Just because you can push a button, it doesnt mean you have to

21 Customisation – Tread Carefully Beware of skills sabotage

22 Primo launched Sept 2009 New website officially launched Sept 2010

23 School Institute Name to go here


25 How was it used? 80/20 Theory 1.5 million Basic Searches 50,000 Advanced Searches 14 reviews written Several hundred items tagged

26 LibQual Survey November 2010 LibQUAL+® is a suite of services that libraries use to solicit, track, understand, and act upon users' opinions of service quality. Global; great for benchmarking

27 IC-1Making electronic resources accessible from my home or office IC-2A library website enabling me to locate information on my own IC-3The printed library materials I need for my work IC-4The electronic information resources I need IC-5Modern equipment that lets me easily access needed information IC-6Easy-to-use access tools that allow me to find things on my own IC-7Making information easily accessible for independent use IC-8Print and/or electronic journal collections I require for my work LibQual - Information Control Remit

28 minimumdesiredperceivedadequacysuperiority IC-1 Making electronic resources accessible from my home or officeOverall6.427.846.490.07-1.35 IC-2 A library website enabling me to locate information on my ownOverall6.538.006.49-0.03-1.51 LibQual - Information Control Remit Lets form a committee!!!

29 School Institute Name to go here

30 LibQual - Information Control Remit Polarised Feedback There was clearly a problem

31 What LibQual told us: We werent meeting our users minimum expectations of: A Library website enabling me to locate information on my own

32 Comments Analysis Navigation of the website is confusing The website is difficult to use The website is easy to use since the re- design Access to e-resources needs to be more user- friendly Online services are great! Off- campus access works very well VS

33 More investigation was needed!

34 User Observation Study Real Users Real Tasks One user – One observer

35 We wanted to find out: where were users becoming confused user interface features that users didnt notice whether and when users logged-in to enhance search results additional features/on-screen guidance that might have benefitted users search experience Any issues affecting the success of the users search

36 Structure of observation Pre-observation interview Set list of tasks Think aloud: –Explain choices –Highlight anything thats confusing –Express pleasure or frustration –Explain how you would carry out a similar task in real life

37 Key Findings Most of the problems, frustration and confusion seemed to arise from our links to our discovery tools and once they navigated into them. Some users went to our webpage about books to find the book they wanted rather than using the search box!


39 Users tended not to notice the Get it and Online Access links and there was some confusion about what the wording meant

40 Sources of Confusion FRBRisation posed great difficulties and caused confusion –Primos preferred record had only unavailable items – short results showed only UNAVAILABLE –Available items on FRBRised records were hidden Journal article searching caused great confusion



43 Other findings Reliance on Google by all participants. Prior attendance at library training hugely improved the users success in completing the set tasks. Several undergraduates were confused about references – they were unsure what was a journal and what was a book

44 User Focus Groups Focus groups - for a wider perspective and to confirm findings Two groups – Undergrads; Postgrads & Staff Caution – those willing to attend tend to be more library- focussed, library-aware and therefore library-positive!

45 Primo-related findings Terminology used in online services is hard to understand – e.g. currently unavailable A simpler catalogue might be easier to use: –make it simple – more like Google One user with experience of other libraries was emphatic that our online services were significantly easier to use than elsewhere.

46 Call to Action: Simplify the Search Experience

47 Introduce a Single Search Box

48 Improve visibility of Login

49 What about the other options?

50 Find Databases

51 More Search Options

52 Journal Article Searching


54 Browse functionality

55 Other Improvements OPAC via Primo –Clearer account information –Clearer item/ holdings information

56 Not an easy journey! Planned for early summer go-live Fixing minor bugs resulted in much bigger problems! Upgrading to Aleph v.20 at the same time Eventually went live on the very first day of Semester Some ongoing issues

57 Feedback and Reaction Over-whelmingly positive: –the new catalogue is amazing! –I like the new look - design and layout - it mirrors the layout in many of our databases e.g., Ebsco, Proquest, Scopus. –it looks very good – easy to search and smooth integration with SFX and OPAC –an enjoyable and fruitful search experience –intuitive and intelligent layout and design

58 Final Thoughts Very valuable to ask users what they think Even more valuable to observe them using your discovery tools Primo v3 is a huge improvement on v2 and fulfills more of the promise Implementation can take a long time! Expect things to go wrong! School Institute Name to go here

59 Thank You! Ronán Kennedy Monica Crump School Institute Name to go here

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