• Why we did what we did• Some things we did, we shouldn’t have• Some things we didn’t do, we should have• How we found what we should have done and what we did about it, and what we did about undoing what we shouldn’t have done• The Epihany: we ticked all the boxes librarians like ticking. They were the wrong ones
Discovery Layers• A preharvested central index coupled with a richly featured discovery layer providing a single search across a library’s local, open access, and subscription collections (Hoeppner 2012, source)• One point of access to the Library’s entire set of bought, licensed and digital collections (Lorcan Dempsey, source)
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
Customisation – Tread Carefully• Discovery interfaces are*very* flexible – lots of options • Cosmetics and functionality very open
Customisation – Tread Carefully• Discovery interfaces are*very* flexible – lots of options • Cosmetics and functionality very open• Tempting to generate completely local feel - can be timelyJust because you can push a button, it doesn’t mean you have to
Customisation – Tread Carefully• Beware of skills sabotage
Primo launched Sept 2009New website officially launched Sept 2010
How was it used?• 80/20 Theory• 1.5 million Basic Searches• 50,000 Advanced Searches• 14 reviews written• Several hundred items tagged
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
LibQual - Information Control RemitIC-1 Making electronic resources accessible from my home or officeIC-2 A library website enabling me to locate information on my ownIC-3 The printed library materials I need for my workIC-4 The electronic information resources I needIC-5 Modern equipment that lets me easily access needed informationIC-6 Easy-to-use access tools that allow me to find things on my ownIC-7 Making information easily accessible for independent useIC-8 Print and/or electronic journal collections I require for my work
LibQual - Information Control Remit minimum desired perceived adequacy superiority IC-1 Making electronic resources accessible from my home or office Overall 6.42 7.84 6.49 0.07 -1.35 IC-2 A library website enabling me to locate information on my own Overall 6.53 8.00 6.49 -0.03 -1.51 Let’s form a committee!!!
LibQual - Information Control Remit Polarised Feedback There was clearly a problem – but what was it???
What LibQual told us:• We weren’t meeting our users’ minimum expectations of: “A Library website enabling me to locate information on my own”
Comments Analysis The website is Online difficult to use Navigation of services the website is are great! confusingAccess to e-resources needs The website is Off-campusto be more user- easy to use access worksfriendly since the re- very well design
User Observation Study• Real Users• Real Tasks• One user – One observer
We wanted to find out:• where were users becoming confused• user interface features that users didn’t 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
Structure of observation• Pre-observation interview• Set list of tasks• Think aloud: – Explain choices – Highlight anything that’s confusing – Express pleasure or frustration – Explain how you would carry out a similar task in real life
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!
Key Findings• Our in-depth knowledge and closeness to the website and discovery tools had blinkered us to the experience of a ‘normal’ user – user observation was like blinkers being removed• Overwhelming message from our users was: “make it simple – more like Google”
Too many options!• Most of the problems, frustration and confusion seemed to arise from the user being presented with too many options: – multiple links to our discovery tools – pages about resources confused with links to resources• Our knowledge of the fantastic range of choices we could offer the user had stopped us from choosing wisely what we should offer them
Problems of terminology• Other sources of confusion arose once they navigated into the catalogue or discovery tool• Users found terminology confusing Why can’t you just call things what they are!
Users tended not to notice the ‘Get it’ and‘Online Access’ links and there was someconfusion about what the wording meant
FRBR - A little too clever?• FRBRisation is a powerful tool aimed at presenting the user with a single result representing several works that are very similar and are likely to be of similar value.• However, this posed great difficulties and caused confusion: – Primo chooses a preferred record to display in the results. – If this preferred record had only unavailable items – it looked like everything is unavailable – Users didn’t click into displayed record to find alternative editions that were hidden behind
Preference for Online?• Design premise of Primo is that online resource is users’ preferred resource• Users were unable to see the print holdings of journals that had print and electronic access
Other interesting findings• Heavy 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: – unsure what was a journal and what was a book – searched by article title instead of journal title• Users with experience of other libraries were emphatic that our online services were significantly easier to use than elsewhere.
Call to Action: Simplify the Search Experience
Primo Central• Primo Central is a single massive index of metadata that has been harvested from primary and secondary publishers, from aggregators, and from open-access repositories• Primo Central indexes hundreds of millions of journal articles, e-books, reviews, legal documents etc.• Because the metadata has been harvested into a single index, it’s faster because it’s not cross-searching• Facets allow users to refine and narrow down their results
Have we succeeded?• Have we simplified the search experience?• Are we now meeting users’ expectations?• It’s not enough to make changes - essential to check back with the users whether we’ve got it right!
Libqual 2013• Still some comments that the website is confusing and hard to navigate• But a 50% increase in the number of positive comments about the website/catalogue!• 85% decrease in the number of negative comments about off-campus access!• LIBQUAL SCORE???
Feedback from Students • Significantly less difficulty completing the setMuch better tasksthis yearthan it was • Big demand for easier access to ‘My Account’ –before but all managed to check their account • Print content still not being seen – confusion over terminology ‘Print Locations’Awesome • Still reporting a heavy reliance on Google/Googlecolours! Scholar
Feedback from Academic Staff• Biggest complaint from academic staff is the It seems to additional steps to get to their favourite have more database! steps to get where you want• Some were very positive about ‘Including Articles’ search, but most hadn’t noticed or tried it. A fantastically convenient• Timing of launch an issue just ahead of start of new option term.
Feedback from Library StaffOver-whelmingly positive: The new catalogue is An enjoyable and amazing! fruitful search experience Intuitive and intelligent It mirrors the layout and layout in many design of our databases
Some Final Thoughts• Evolving user behaviour is very evident: – Students are using our discovery tool to search both for AND within resources – Expectation growing that everything will be online• Difficulty of meeting different expectations: – Academics expect library tools to point and link them to resources – They don’t think to simply search!
What next...• Very valuable to ask users what they think• Even more valuable to observe them using your discovery tools• We’ve had some clear signals about further adaptations we should make• This is an ongoing process, and we intend to make user observation a regular practice to ensure we keep up with evolving user needs and behaviour.