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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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 – University of Minnesota

This week’s usable library is: University of Minnesota Library What I like: Minimal space on home page devoted to marketing, leaving more room for user services Right sidebar on home page with direct links to courses and popular  databases, as well as A-Z lists Point-of-need help embedded throughout the site, and presented in user-friendly, easily…

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Usable Library of the Week – Brigham Young University

This week’s usable library is: Brigham Young University What I like: Recently re-designed:  Modern, attractive, and fully responsive Non-bibliographic content such as library services and even librarian’s names are included in single search box discovery tool Library instruction is embedded throughout the site:  see the Articles page, with prominent text “why should I also try databases…

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