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May 01, 2009



Interesting that there was use of the limiters. I rarely see students using them. I wonder if they were trying to do more sophisticated stuff to impress you (if you weren't giving them hints about things to try which it sounds like you were not). Or do you think the next gen catalogs make it easier to know the limiters exist with use of faceted displays.

I think it would have been interesting to have added one more catalog to the mix. A "old-gen" OPAC - an innovative webpac interface for example. I wonder if the students would have perceived great differences between old and new or shown a preference for the new. I sometimes think we are much more obsessed about the OPAC then the users. Most have author/title searches that gets them what they want quickly. The real problems start - not with the look and feel - but trying to interpret the record content - like when you are trying to find out if the library has a 1982 volume of a journal.


Very interesting, Brian. Thanks for putting this out there.

Rebecca (Zeek)

Great quick qualitative study. I see many topics for thesis in here.

Ken Liss

Thanks, Brian. I'm going to share this with the folks who are working on our nextgencat.

Interesting quote from the student who wanted to be able to comment but keep her comments private. I've used Diigo for that sort of thing (though not very often.) I know there are similar tools out there and wonder if others have made use of them.

Josh W.

Thanks for doing this work and posting. Always good to get more student feedback.


I wonder if the preference for limiters on the left rather than the right is that that's how Amazon does it.

Stuart Frazer

"Almost all the students said they would give preference to an item that had a book cover, and would give less attention to the books that had grayed out covers."

I've noticed this in my own behavior browsing on-demand movie options on my cable system. I'm a horror fan so the things that catch my interest are a) an ominous title and b) a nightmarish promo/cover image. Absent at least one of these two it's unlikely I'll wade further in to read the description or watch a preview. Lesson for authors/publishers: pay top tier attention to selection of title and cover art.

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