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Single Search For Your Phone - Presented at TRLN Annual Meeting 2014


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Presented at TRLN Annual Meeting in 2014 this is an overview of work we've done to design a library single search application applying responsive design techniques to make the application usable on mobile and desktop devices. We also describe a new feature we call "stratified typeahead" to suggest groups of results live as people enter text into the search box.

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Single Search For Your Phone - Presented at TRLN Annual Meeting 2014

  1. 1. A Single Search Box For Your Phone (and other screens) Kevin Beswick & Cory Lown NCSU Libraries TRLN Annual Meeting - July 2014
  2. 2. 2007 2009 2011
  3. 3. Increasing traffic to mobile site
  4. 4. Frequent mobile site activities
  5. 5. Mobile site not meeting all needs. 14% of people redirected to the mobile site opted to switch back to the desktop site.
  6. 6. What they did next… Search Search 51% Reserve a room 12% Hunt Library Info 6% Library Hours 5% Journal Title Lookup/Search 3% everything else... 22%
  7. 7. Context ● Evidence of increased mobile traffic ● Search a popular activity from mobile ● When mobile site failed, desktop search was the most frequent next step.
  8. 8. Opportunities ● Get out of the business of building and maintaining separate mobile/desktop versions of apps ● Rethink single search based on years of usage data ● Apply responsive design to single search for use on phones, tablets, laptops, desktops. ● Re-architect the search application using a modern web application framework
  9. 9. Desktop Single Search Usage
  10. 10. Mobile usage is different
  11. 11. Stratified Typeahead
  12. 12. Examples in the Wild - Twitter
  13. 13. Examples in the Wild - LinkedIn
  14. 14. Stratified Typeahead in QuickSearch
  15. 15. Stratified Typeahead in QS (Mobile)
  16. 16. QuickSearch Typeahead Result Categories ● Known result types - Best Bets, FAQs, Spaces ○ A click will lead directly to content ● Search suggestions - drawn from TRLN catalog typeahead ○ A click will lead to search results page ● Content types very easily interchangeable
  17. 17. Why Stratified Typeahead in QuickSearch? ● Makes searching even quicker ● We think it is cognitively easier to understand results if they are pre-organized into categories ○ Similar to the existing categorized design of QuickSearch ● Encourages exploration of other content types, resources
  18. 18. Typeahead & Problems Introduced by Responsive Design ● Above / Below the Fold ○ Provides a view of result types that may appear lower on the search results page ● Improves mobile device experience ○ Saves typing time ○ Allows users to access specific content faster without loading a search results page
  19. 19. Typeahead User Research ● Usability testing conducted on the typeahead feature before launching ● Users liked that it saved them time, was easy to use, and quick to respond ● Reordered content types based on user feedback ● Also uncovered several smaller issues that were able to be fixed before launch
  20. 20. Early Typeahead Usage Stats
  21. 21. Early Typeahead Usage Stats
  22. 22. Next Steps for QuickSearch ● Observe Fall semester usage, compare to previous usage data ○ Explore opportunities for improvement ● Apply machine learning principles to predict how result categories should be arranged on the search results page
  23. 23. Thank You Cory Lown <> Digital Technologies Development Librarian NCSU Libraries Kevin Beswick <> NCSU Libraries’ Fellow