Speaker – Jeff Wisniewski
problem: old opacs weren’t designed for usability
- they were designed for the back-end of libraries
- designed to store data
Look at Jeff’s library’s OPAC – pittcat – much nicer looking than most other opacs (it’s still in beta)
they plan on keeping the more traditional-looking opac search for the forseeable future – eventually they’ll look at useage stats and go from there.
goals for new interface:
- does it have an intuitive interface?
- zero instruction needed, like amazon’s search interface
- no dumb error messages
- expose more of their collection (faceted search thing)
- integrate various silos (other databases they had, locally-created stuff, etc)
- get it up and running yesterday!
If you can, don’t do an RFP. It’s sorta backwards, hard to write, frequently states the obvious
instead, they made a features list
- must have
- highly desirable
- and a third category
- had to have the must have features
made a spreadsheet for the selection process with each vendor and their features listed.
Do this for your users – not your staff!!!
- boolean, advanced search, etc – your users DON’T CARE. So don’t offer it.
- resist the power search…
they renamed the old catalog the “classic” catalog – funny!
Do publicity on the new thing!
- call it what it is – map, not cartographic resource; music, not sound recording (that’s what the majority of them are)
- hyperlinks – you can put them practically everywhere
make sure it’s visual – use book jacket pics, etc
give your catalog legs:
- create facebook search widgets
- embed search widgets elsewhere, too
social stuff – do it even if you’re not quite ready yet
integration with other databases (federated search)
- some have them