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Playing With Marbles (Or Losing Them) :. Configuration and Customisation With the Horizon Information Portal Previously Loved and Known as iPac. Susan Johns-Smith. Pittsburg State University Axe Library Pittsburg, Kansas USA. It’s about as easy as stacking marbles!

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Playing with marbles or losing them

Playing With Marbles (Or Losing Them) :

Configuration and Customisation With the Horizon Information Portal

Previously Loved and Known as iPac

Susan johns smith

Susan Johns-Smith

Pittsburg State University

Axe Library

Pittsburg, Kansas USA

It’s about as easy as

stacking marbles!

-- Lindon Samford

Playing with marbles
Playing With Marbles

  • Standard Customisation and Configuration

  • Customisation for Universal Accessibility

Standard customisation dynix
Standard Customisation - Dynix

  • Dynix Documentation

  • Tech Tips – Both Dynix and Horizon

    • Of 18 published, only 4 published in 2003, 3 of which were specifically for the Horizon database

    • Most are outdated and inaccurate

    • Many appear to be primarily eBuzzes of significance rather than a systematic update of documentation

Standard customisation dynix1
Standard Customisation - Dynix

  • Training Guides

  • Webex

    • Used for both iPac formal training and one-on-one sessions

    • Useful for training support personnel who are unfamiliar with the product

  • eBuzzes and eBuzz Archives

  • Good Ideas (being improved??)

  • Resolutions Database

Standard customisation dynix2
Standard Customisation - Dynix

  • Within the Dynix corporate site

    • Watch eBuzzes and announcements

    • Check web site frequently

    • Check product pages, support pages, training pages, documentation pages, and archives – information is scattered everywhere

    • Know when information is dated or superceded

Standard customisation customers
Standard Customisation – Customers

  • The iPac Zone – Seminole County FL

    • Icons

    • Media images

    • Archives

    • JBOSS/Jetty sites

Standard customisation customers1
Standard Customisation – Customers

The iPac Zone

  • XSL Chart - Find out which .xsl file affects which iPac screen.

  • External Search - Create a search form to search iPac from an external site.

  • Font Mapping - Maps which font class formats text on the Search Summary and Full Bib screens.

  • LibraryLookup - Create a Bookmarklet tosearch iPac from any online bookstore.

Standard customisation customers2
Standard Customisation – Customers

  • iPac Listserv – Tampa Bay FL

  • iPac Directory Listing – Pittsburg KS

  • Tutorial Screens - University of Canterbury (New Zealand)

  • Individual E-Mail and Site Examples

Universal accessibility
Universal Accessibility

  • Universal Accessibility

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Universal accessibility1
Universal Accessibility

  • Coding Integrity

  • Magnification

  • Color-Contrast

  • Screen Reading Capabilities

  • Motor Skill Navigation

  • Browser Independence

Coding integrity
Coding Integrity

  • W3C Validator

    • Recommended for HTML 4.0, XHTML 1.0, CSS Level 2, XML 1.0

    • Quality, structure, consistency and reliability of the code

Coding integrity2
Coding Integrity

  • Bobby

    • Simple to understand language

    • Three levels of accessibility defined

    • Interpretive nature lends itself to criticism – self policing

Coding integrity3
Coding Integrity

“If Bobby is the only test… it is possible to produce a site with accessibility problems… it might be more accurate to say that Bobby can…identify inaccessibility than to verify accessibility…” -- Quinn (2001)


  • Zoomtext

    • Magnification and screen reading

    • Primarily for low-vision users

    • Magnification up to 16X

    • Useful for font, line spacing, and graphic integrity

Color contrast
Color Contrast

  • Vischeck Color Simulator

    • Simulates Deuteranope, Protanope, and Tritanope color vision

    • Most useful to determine effective use of contrast

Screen reading capabilities motor skill navigation
Screen Reading Capabilities Motor Skill Navigation

  • JAWS for Windows,

    • Braille interface

    • Screen reader with various “modes” and shortcuts

    • Useful for motor skill navigation of links, pull down (combo) and input boxes

Browser independence
Browser Independence

  • Browser Testing

    • Amaya

    • Opera

    • Lynx

    • Netscape and Internet Explorer


  • Insist on standards for coding html/xhtml

  • Insist on browser independence

  • Employ accessibility tools vigorously to all pages


  • Avoid use of any italics or thin fonts that disintegrate

  • Watch quality of graphics

  • Watch yellow or pastel fonted words

  • Watch link colors


  • Pay attention to contrast

  • Watch colors matching logos or school colors

  • Watch quality of gifs, jpgs, logos, buttons


  • Test multiple screen readers

  • All are not the same

  • Each can read differently

  • Often have different features, e.g., skip links


  • Many have different shortcuts and functionality

  • Many have different commands to navigate within the reader proper


  • Test readers your users use

  • Do not force the disabled to learn a new reader in order to use your library catalog


  • What’s healthy for the visually impaired is also useful for the palm pilots

  • A good, clean design will withstand any rendering of the product


  • <Tab> through the page

  • <BackTab> through the page

  • Check all pull-down boxes for ability to read and display using <arrows> to ensure all options are visible


  • Check all <submit>, <go>, <send> buttons for ability to activate the desired action, form, or search

  • How do you get from the top to the bottom?

  • How do you get from the bottom to the top?


  • Can you skip over

    re-occurring material?

  • Can you fully access the page without a mouse?


  • Test vigorously in-house before live testing with disabled users

  • Test vigorously with disabled users and be ready to make changes and adjustments, not mere lip service


  • Separate accessibility from usability:


  • Usability: analyzing how long it takes you to find a piece of information – how many clicks, where on the page, etc.


  • Accessibility: knowing that information exists, but trying to get at it with your eyes closed and a stick in your mouth

Thank you
Thank you! cannot speak, who cannot see, who cannot hear, or who cannot use their hands to communicate