Wednesday, July 23, 2014

OneSearch - New version

From the feedback box

Hi there, I hate to be critical, but the new OneSearch V.2 seems terribly slow in comparison to the previous version. Presumably in an effort to make it more 'visually pleasing', the interface now show less items per view which takes more scrolling, and the feature which brings into view additional information when hovering the mouse over a title wastes valuable space on the right of the screen. The 'visual effect' might be nice for some purposes, but I would have expected efficiency to be prioritised given the nature of OneSearch. Anyway, hope this feedback is useful in some way. Cheers, Dennis

Library response

Thanks for contacting us. I am concerned that you are finding the new One Search slow – within two days of going live the vendors deployed a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that visibly improved response time. If you are still experiencing poor response can you contact me just in case there is an issue with the device/environment you are using we haven’t seen yet?

While it is more visually pleasing the new interface was actually redeveloped (from the ground up) by mining massive amounts of user behaviours and extensive user experience research on the previous version. Some rationales the developers relayed to us were:

  • The endless scroll was developed because more than 85% of searches only ever result in clicks on the first page of results.
  • Lots of searches use very generic terms so Summon 2.0 was rewritten to help users (typically new to bibliographic research) get automatic guidance on more clearly defining their research topic, so they will see:
  • Links to relevant Libguides
  • A definition of their term
  • Related topics
  • Suggestions for more specific searches
  • To display this information the third column is used – it doubles as a display of ‘more information’ on individual search result items without obscuring the search results and requiring a click to clear as the previous version did
  • Spotlighting of newspaper articles and images was introduced to stop these formats from crowding out more academic items while still making them visible to users who want them
  • The old subject filtering (which relied on indexes of uncontrolled ontologies) has been replaced by a much more systematic approach of determining ‘Discipline’.
The underlying technology is under constant development with consultation between the vendor and the hundreds of institutions around the world that use it. Your ideas and problems are shared with this development community so please keep them coming.

Things available in future iterations include:

  • Scholar profiles (link to the research output of academics with a research focus on your topic)
  • Contact your librarian (link to the librarian(s) who are subject specialists in your topic)
  • Integration with Refworks Flow for more powerful citation formatting and management
The new interface is significantly different to the old but we think it is even better than its predecessor at performing it’s key function of ‘opening up the full depth and breadth of JCU Library’s physical and digital collections to even the most inexperienced researcher’. I hope you come to love it as much as I do.


Alan Cockerill
Library Technologies Coordinator
James Cook University

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