To Bento or Not to Bento – Displaying search results

Many academic institutions – including my own – have moved to a “bento-box” style search result display:  a single search box that returns side-by-side results from multiple library search tools, e.g., library catalog, article index, institutional repository, website, LibGuides, etc.  In this post, I explore the pros and cons of “bento-ing.”  Why to Bento Eliminates…

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Usable Library of the Month – Boston College

This month’s usable library is: Boston College Library What I like: Newly redesigned, fully responsive site uses LibGuides CMS Search results returned in “bento-box” style, with articles and books separated (see this article for more on bento box search) Includes link to old library website to ease transition Database dropdown under search box provides quick access to known…

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Usable Library of the Month – Luther College

This month’s usable library is: Luther College, Iowa What I like: Easy to understand, jargon-free explanations for Finding Primary Sources, Evaluating Internet sites, Check for print or Electronic Journal Availability, and more Point-of-need links to tutorials and help on Find Scholarly Articles page Clean, modern look and feel: sans-serif fonts, lots of white space, good color scheme Responsive Breadcrumb…

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Usable Library of the Month – University of Toronto

This month’s usable library is: University of Toronto What I like: New site launched in May, 2015.  For a comparison, see old site snapshot at the Internet Archive. Search upgraded from tabbed to single search box The “Find a specific article” page Excellent outreach on new site design and launch, including why site was redesigned and opportunities…

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Usable Library of the Month – Saint Mary’s College of Maryland

This month’s usable library is: Saint Mary’s College of Maryland What I like: Prominent single search box on homepage with tagline “find better answers in the library’s collections” Clean, mobile-friendly design Services for Faculty pages with infographics outlining the library’s journal review process and usage statistics  

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They love the library (and Google too) – Findings from the “Research Confession Booth”

Last week my colleague Odile Harter and I presented at Designing For Digital, a library UX conference.  We shared preliminary findings from our ongoing user study we call the “Research Confession Booth.” Slides from the conference are available here. The study: Our “Research Confession Booth” is modeled on the “confession cams” from reality TV shows –…

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Usable Library of the Month – Emory University

This month’s usable library is: Emory University Library What I like: Solves the problem of upper right search box confusion with a dropdown menu. Mobile friendly Excellent Library Simplified tutorial Intuitive, simple navigation Jargon-free menu labels:  “Library Materials,” “Using the Library,” “Research and Learning”    

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Top 10 Academic Library Websites 2014

Here are my favorite academic libraries of 2014. I expected this year’s sites to be: Unified – I wanted a seamless, integrated research experience.  I looked for cross-platform search tools, integration with courses,  and built-in, non-siloed research guides. Instructive – I wanted the site to teach me how to be a better researcher.  I looked for embedded…

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Usable Library of the Week – Champlain College

This week’s usable library is: Champlain College, Vermont What I like: A small college (2,000 enrollment) with a great website! Lots of help – this site is clearly focused on helping students through the entire research experience, with easy-to-find help for everything from writing an annotated bibliography to evaluating sources. Research How Tos As with…

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Usable Library of the Week – Universiteit Gent

This week’s usable library is: Universiteit Gent, Belgium What I like: Their Blacklight search interface: lots of white space and large fonts for clean, readable look and feel Search detail includes “For Librarians” and “For Developer” tabs with access to MARC/XML/JSON records as well as links to open datasets Both Permalink and Citing are prominent…

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