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How search results became 'the new black'


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For students conducting research, the traditional linear navigation model of search form to results to detailed record has served as a consistent, gold standard. Today’s students are abandoning traditional paths, embracing a new behavior Jakob Nielsen’s team calls “page parking” and moving full-steam ahead with heightened expectations for the search results page. On this new results page experience – what was once a pass-through en route to detailed information about a product or service – has become the singular page that matters most: the required basic; the new black. Attendees will also learn the difference between what students call a “good” search result and how this compares to what librarians’ favor. Join EBSCO’s Sr. UX Researcher, Lin Lin, to learn more about students’ digital ecosystems and gain a deeper understanding of user needs at that critical juncture.

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How search results became 'the new black'

  1. 1. Lin Lin, Sr. UX Researcher EBSCO Information Services UK EDS Conference 2016 July 7 , 2016 How Search Results Became “The New Black”
  2. 2. OUR PROJECTS Secondary Research Literature review of elementary, middle, high school and college/grad school search habits. Video Diary Study High school students demonstrating their research habits. Contextual Inquiry Participant-driven sessions with high school, college and graduate students. Participatory Design College students working in teams to design their ideal search experience. User Testing Wireframe feedback & prototype testing for important aspects of the search experience.
  3. 3. How Students Make Decisions
  4. 4. Learning about topic
  5. 5. Times cited is used as a proxy for importance.
  6. 6. How Students Make Decisions Library/EDS
  7. 7. Scanning for search terms
  8. 8. Scanning for secondary terms
  9. 9. Skimming through snippets
  10. 10. Source info is used as a proxy for credibility
  11. 11. Filtering VS New search
  12. 12. Title includes search term
  13. 13. Description includes secondary terms
  14. 14. Abstract signals relevancy
  15. 15. “Gold Standard”
  16. 16. Meet “Page Parking”, The New Pogo-Sticking NNGroup Nov 2015
  17. 17. Search Results: “The New Black” Once a pass-through to the detailed record, students are now using search results as a point of triage. From finding sources, to weeding & narrowing Laptop stays open for the duration. Word document becomes the working inventory, then the paper. Opening new browser tabs for possibilities (“page parking is the new pogo-sticking” – NNGroup).
  18. 18. Search Results: One Size Does Not Fit All Search results preferences of non-librarians differ greatly from those of librarians. Non-librarian users (public library patrons, students) gravitate towards results lists with titles that had more exact matches of their search terms. In contrast, librarians appeared to prefer a more “well-rounded sample” for a results list. To students and library patrons, a “good result” means seeing their search term repeated in the items of the title on page 1 of results. Non-librarian users appear to be seeking general overviews in search results, and are less satisfied with a search result that shows items that are “too specific, too quickly.”
  19. 19. Some users preferred historical aspects of the topic, while others preferred articles that relates to current times. (One Size Does Not Fit All)
  20. 20. Results that are too specific on the first page are not helpful.
  21. 21. Participants were looking for overviews. Teacher tenure results about specific lawsuits were not relevant to many participants.
  22. 22. UP NEXT:  FACULTY CONTEXTUAL INQUIRY  EBOOK RESEARCH Faculty and student referrals needed Contact
  23. 23. How To Partner With Us Be a partner in an EBSCO research study We partner with you to take a deeper look at a particular audience or question. Whether it’s co-developing a survey or engaging as a contextual inquiry institution, there are many opportunities. Collaborate on a custom research project with us We’ve worked with individual institutions to conduct user testing on their EDS implementation, resulting in a set of findings that helped optimize usability. We can conduct a survey together. We can conduct in-person or remote webinars. Customized to suit your needs. Let us help with your library website redesign We’ve learned how students are navigating library websites. We can help as you undertake changes to yours. We will use and share best practices based on similar institutions. Let us provide you with data Let us provide you with information about your EBSCO product usage, including search terms, key usage stats and more. Secondary research reports also available. Contact!
  24. 24. Be in Touch.