We made a preview version of the new service available at UKSG in early April and just closed this off a few weeks ago. During this period we put up an online survey and encouraged emails to the EDINA helpdesk to ask our users for their views on the functionality and ease of use of the redeveloped service. A full report is now available on our website.
Overall, the response was very positive and any significant issues which were raised, EDINA were already aware of and are currently busy trying to resolve for the next release, due this autumn. Over 70% of the respondents reported that the preview service was better than the current service and we hope to improve this figure further as we iron out the glitches.
“Very bold design, clear and simple. A great improvement. Will encourage use of the service.”
We are happy that the vast majority of respondents found that the basic search facility was easy to use, 89%, and that the newly introduced post-search filters were found to be useful to 83% of respondents. Respondents reported that both the pre and post search filters would be good tools for reducing large result sets and filtering out holdings which might not be of interest, e.g. electronic or print holdings.
“Having the basic phrases in the first drop down box allows an easy search but also one that can still be refined without having to go to advanced search. Limiting locations and institutions is useful, especially for us as a public library as we know a number of locations will not lend so we can limit to those that do.”
Some respondents reported issues related to the display of the results list and the advanced search and work is on-going to resolve these. We were already aware that the Exact Title search was a little too exact – requiring exact matching on punctuation and letter case! Further, the relevancy ranking was not always working as expected, so these are another two areas we are currently concentrating on getting optimised.
The feedback received has been extremely useful in confirming areas we had concerns about and so helping us to prioritise immediate fixes for the next release, while also highlighting other interesting suggestions we can investigate for future releases.