British Library - Presentation


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The British Library is the national library of Great Britain. Over 16,000 people use the collections each day (on site and online).

Each year:
- The British Library online catalogue generates six million searches
- Nearly 400,000 visit the library’s reading rooms

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British Library - Presentation

  1. 1. The National Library of Great Britain The British Library
  2. 2. Scope: get an overview of the site and the sections we should/could address Site is roughly the size of the former British Empire Context and continuity Where-am-I factor Heuristic Evaluation Methodology
  3. 3. . 50,000 foot view
  4. 4. “ The Rainbow” Orienting device Chunking Navigating Broad topical definitions of areas Overlapping organization Exhaustive Most things are within 1 or 2 clicks of the sitemap Sitemap
  5. 5. Researchers Business Library &Information professionals General public Much overlapping content Views, not silos Mediating pages take you into the rainbow Audience Scheme
  6. 6. About Us Collections Catalogues Services What’s On News Contact Us Press Releases Filming Policy Pictures Annual Report Mailing List Press contact Events Exhibitions Learning Visit Tours Visit Institutional Information Facts for using the library – physical and online Other Geographical Areas Media Other Integrated Catalogue Subject Catalogues Other Business Services Library & Information Services Public Services Content Map: Over the rainbow
  7. 7. Collections Catalogues Services Americas Asia, Pacific & Africa East European Early printed Manuscripts Maps Treasures Modern British Modern Irish West European Music Newspapers Patents, trademarks & designs Reports, conferences & theses Philatelic Science Technology & Business Sound Archive Research Resources Integrated Catalogue Bookbindings Chinese printed books & serials Current serials Early Photographs India & South Asia IDP Silk Road Manuscripts Japanese printed books & materials Manuscripts Maps Microform Research Collections Newspapers Nineteenth Century Sound Archive Other libraries’ catalogues Alerting Services Bibliographic Conference Centre Images Online Information & research services :Learning Librarianship National Preservation Office Publishing & Bookshop Reader Services Beowulf Caxton’s Chaucer Da Vinci Notebook Diamond Sutra Gutenberg Bible Magna Carta Turning the Pages Dutch French German Greek (modern) Hispanic Italian Scandinavian Business Environment Health Care Social Sciences Inside Inside Alert Patents, STM & business zetoc British National Bibliography Data Licensing Standards Articles Direct Document Supply Electronic Delivery Patents trademarks & design Reproductions Research Service Sound Recordings Admissions Enquiry Service St.Pancras Bookshop Online Bookshop
  8. 8. Site, sub-sites, and individual pages should be: Consistent Presentation Labeling Organization Navigation Comprehensible Attractive Direct Usability Review:
  9. 9. Link: Information & research services What ?! Inconsistencies: Labeling I
  10. 10. Links to outside pages labeled differently… ? … or not at all. Maps ? Inconsistencies: Labeling II
  11. 11. Breadcrumb trail for all the following: Home > Services > Reader services Conditions of use of the Library's reading rooms Reader services Using the Reading Rooms: help for readers with disabilities Advance ordering of material Ordering & collecting material in the Library's St Pancras reading rooms Inconsistencies: labeling & navigation
  12. 12. Inconsistencies: Presentation
  13. 13. Inconsistencies: Organization
  14. 14. Good description Very few surprises about what kind of thing you’ll find at the other end of a link, despite the labeling problems Comprehensible
  15. 15. Two general models: Slick, but short on navigation info Unsightly, but utilitarian Attractive
  16. 16. Intermediary pages only used when needed to differentiate content or inform the user Direct
  17. 17. Establish and explain identity of the British Library Lead to a mix of core and peripheral information Overlap with Home Page links Extensive and informative About Us, What’s On, News
  18. 18. Limited consistency and clarity For example, the Job Vacancy pages: About Us, What’s On, News – What’s Bad
  19. 19. Describe and provide access to the core resource of the British Library, its collections From the global navigation menu, you can access 25 different collections and search the collections using 14 catalogues Comprehensive and exhaustive Collections and Catalogues
  20. 20. Overall, the pages are attractive, direct, and comprehensible Most information can be reach in two clicks from the homepage Detailed and specific collection information Specialty catalogues tailored to individual subjects Collections and Catalogs: What’s Good
  21. 21. In a word, consistency Different organizations Different graphic designs Different menu options and subdivisions Different levels of granularity Collections and Catalogues: What’s Bad
  22. 22. Global navigation bar was replaced Inconsistent organization of information and links within the pages Catalogues: What’s Bad
  23. 23. Collections: Inconsistent Organization/Granularity
  24. 24. Collections: Inconsistent Organization/Granularity
  25. 25. Collections: Inconsistent Organization/Granularity
  26. 26. 9 sub-sites, of varying size and complexity 1. Alerting Services 2. Bibliographic Services 3. Information & Research Services 4. Conference Centre 5. Images Online 6. Learning 7. Librarianship 8. National Preservation Office 9. Publishing & bookshop St. Pancras bookshop Online bookshop Services
  27. 27. Consistent use of navigation icons Visited links turn and stay turned Cross-links to related areas (within Services and across the rainbow) help resist silo-effect Services: What’s Good
  28. 28. Sub-site designs inconsistent: different kinds of organization and presentation Services: What’s Bad
  29. 29. Inconsistent presentation: first page of a sub-site gives you little idea of its extent Services: What’s Bad
  30. 30. Metaphor Analysis Usability testing Card sorts User tests Closer looks at Search Integrating new Google search Help Further discussion with Adrian Arthur, Web Services Delivery Further Directions
  31. 31. 3 general kinds of services, each with its own aims, assumptions and audience eLibrary (Digitized traditional library services) Catalogues, Legal Deposit eCommerce Images Online, Document Delivery eFun Online exhibits and learning pages Challenge
  32. 32. Too large and complex to function as a single site? Better to frame it explicitly as a connected group of sites? What about the silo problem? Interesting and important interconnections between the areas, any way you slice it Asking the hard questions
  33. 33. Seems to be very much part of their culture that…they’re The British Library. Is it part of their problem that…they’re The British Library? Are their assumptions too self-referential? Hard Questions II
  34. 34. Their focus is to serve the world - the site is a uniquely valuable, even indispensable, tool for realizing that aim They have a push on to capitalize on their resources - the site exemplifies, and so advertises, their expertise. Why it’s worth it: I
  35. 35. 3 cool things you should see on the British Library website Turning the Pages Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts The British Library Sound Archive Why its worth it: II
  36. 36. The National Library of Great Britain Questions? The British Library