Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tell us what you want, what you really really want: Using Community Feedback to Spice Up your Catalogue

Kirsta Graham, Web Services Team Leader and
Lauren Campbell, Senior Honours Student
from Central Michigan University

  • slides will be posted on IUG site
  • Lauren did usability study for her Honour Project (is going to Lib school in the fall, and worked in the lib)
  • step 1: talk to users (including, for them: students / faculty / staff)
  • showed focus group other III opacs, to demo features / styles / the possibilities out there they were considering
  • projected these, and their then-current opac on a screen, for discussion
  • had 8 students in focus group, lured by extra credit, pizza and brownies
  • "I just wanna search"
  • choose advanced keyword search as first screen -- were surprised students wanted the anti-googlesque paradigm -- however, they have had the advanced search screen as default on all their databases for a number of years, and worked hard to train students to use them
  • students wanted clear directions for other search options (eg. type author's name with last name first...)
  • every search screen has a "My Centra" (ie: My Library Card) log-in box (which would address OUR common comments re too many clicks to get to My lib Card)
  • combined 'wants' of students with prof judgment / balanced with comments / opinions of faculty..."make them eat their veg" idea
  • neat list of features (good slide) similar to what we're looking at eg spell check seen as a no-brainer vs. nah, we're not going to write reviews
  • Usability study:
    • tasks based on new design features / elements
    • used situations rather than just questions
  • they have an OPAC group/committee that meets regularly...nice!...but also have lots of staff!
  • spent a year...took time for user feedback
  • planning to do it again before 10 years go by...will continue to solicit user feedback

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