Unifying UX: Consistency with Content #internetlibrarian #il2014

Jordan Fields, Garfield County Libraries (Colo.)
Mark Noble, Marmot Library Network

http://www.garfieldlibraries.org

III Sierra Opac
Vufind, open source discovery layer
Overdrive e-books

Patron tries to find e-books. Catalog is difficult to use. There’s a long help document. She goes to Amazon.

Asked users to do tasks and watched them. Also asked little questions, like what should this label say? Offered one “book buck” (good for paying fines, etc.)

It doesn’t make sense to users that catalog looks different from the larger web site. They tried to make it seemless. “Book scroller” (row of cover images), click on it and go straight into catalog.

Simplification: one result per title, not lots of different editions that confuse patrons. But you can still click on “show editions” to see all editions. Sorted so local copies show first, then available copies elsewhere.

Enrichment through NoveList: series, covers.

“More like this” based on metadata in catalog. Works with movies, music, etc. as well as books. Staff loves this stuff, instant reader’s advisory.

Web site is on Drupal. Navigation links across top is the same in both catalog and web site.

Before integration, it looked like four different web sites:
* desktop web site
* desktop catalog
* mobile web site
* mobile catalog

Now, they all look pretty much the same.

Gave staff access a month ahead of public and training. Staff felt listened to.

Took a few months to figure out best way to group records. If there’s a problem, a librarian can report it and library staff — rather than a programmer — can fix it.

Library is not part of county government, so their web site doesn’t have to look like the county’s. Some of the libraries in their consortium have to be consistent with a parent organization, but that can be done with iframes and CSS.

Other databases (Ebsco, Zinnio) allow a certain amount of customization by adding the MARC records. They have told vendors what they want from their APIs.

Edited to make things clearer.

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