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The Best of Both Worlds or the End of the World as We Know It?

The Best of Both Worlds or the End of the World as We Know It?

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The Best of Both Worlds or the End of the World as We Know It?

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  1. The Best of Both Worlds or the End of the World as We Know It? A Usability Approach to the Cross-Product Cross-Ideology Discovery Interface Finna IGeLU 2014 Anna Pienimäki & Aleksi Turpeinen

  2. Contents • What is Finna? • Finna Architecture – a Library Perspective • Usability Challenges in Finna • Demo • Questions

  3. What is Finna?

  4. The Finnish National Digital Library (NDL) • Project funded by the Ministry of Education • The aim of the NDL project is to ensure • high standard management, • accessibilityvia the discoveryinterfaceFinna, and • secure preservation of electronic materials of Finnish culture • Collaborating organisations, that is, Finnish libraries, museums and archives, work jointly to preserve the national heritage in a digital format and make it accessible for all. • NDL is part of the development of national electronic services and infrastructures.

  5. Finna – a short history • To Primo or not to Primo? • Evaluation period 2010-2012 • Not ready for a large consortium environment • Finnish libraries, museums, and archives • Multiple data formats • MARC21, Dublin Core • LIDO • EAD • … • Various types of patron functionalities • Highly skilled in-house programming team with skills in library systems, agile development and knowledge in context areas

  6. Finna – the treasures of Finnish culture • Finna discovery interface • Based on the open source discovery service VuFind • Developed in-house at the National Library of Finland • National view ( • Access to national cultural data harvested into the local index • Roughly 100 organisations have been harvested into test index • 51 organisations in production • Organisation views (, etc) • Localindex • Integration of Ex Libris PCI, SFX, and MetaLib • Authorisedaccess to licensedmaterialssuch as journalarticles, ejournals and ebooks • Configurable to meet the organisational needs • 8 in production, more coming up soon!

  7. Finna Architecture - a Library Perspective

  8. Local Content

  9. Local Content • Materials provided by Finnish memory organisations harvested using OAI-PMH interface • Library catalogues • Finnish repositories • Lists of ejournals and ebooks • Databases and ejournals licensed by FinELib (the Finnish National Electronic Library) harvested from MetaLib and SFX • Local content is available for search and delivery for every user • Efficient search tools • Developed and administered by the National Library of Finland

  10. Primo Central Index

  11. Primo Central Index • Contains the main body of licensed materials acquired by the Finnish libraries via FinELib • Journal articles • eJournals • eBooks • Other references and citations • Hundreds of collections available • References and citations provided by various publishers • Update cycle varies depending on the publisher • Some collections are restricted to authorised users only • Ex Libris SFX link resolver is used to locate and access full texts

  12. Nelli meta search

  13. Nelli meta search • Integrated meta search service providing access to • Journal articles • eBook collections • Other references and citations • Powered by Ex LibrisMetaLib • Access to MetaLib using X-services • Needed for collections not included in PCI • Customisable search sets some of which may be restricted to authorised users only

  14. Combined View

  15. Combined View • Top ten results from both of the indices (Local content, PCI) • Access to both indices for more results • Services such as add to favourites • However, facets not available due to incompatible filtering options • Optional feature – each organisation can choose whether or not to include the view into their organisationalFinna

  16. Search first, filter later • Commonly used approach in Google, Amazon etc. • One simple search box • The full results list can be narrowed down using facets • Pros • Faster access to results using one simple search field • Quick snippet of the most relevant results given immediately • Filtering options are narrowed down based on actual results • Cons • One simple search box is often not enough for heavy users and very specific needs • A need of more advanced search options

  17. Usability Challenges in Finna

  18. Two (three) indices, two (three) results lists • To blend or not to blend, that is the question! • Incompatible advanced search options – the same search tools and criteria are not available in the indices. • Incompatible filtering options – filtering based on certain parameters will filter out all contents of the other index. • Incompatible relevance ranking scales and algorithms – blending in blocks might lead into false relevance order. • Possible solution: • Common search box to access both of the indices • Two tabs, two main results lists (+ one extra tab for meta search) • Combined view for the most relevant results of the both indices • TODO: More comprehensive usability testing of blended results list needed

  19. Hello gorgeous, what is your name? • Contents of the indices overlap somewhat • eBooks and repositories • Finding suitable names for the indices / tabs has proven to be extremely difficult. • How to find the most relevant content? • Solution: • The name should describe the contents as accurately as possible without being too complex. • A brand inside a brand, as a tab name, confuses the user. • In Finna, the organisations have the possibility to name the tabs as they prefer. • Various types of libraries as customers, various needs and contents

  20. Restricted content • Primo Central Index (and MetaLib) contains both restricted and open content • Delivery (and sometimes search) of restricted content requires authorisation. • The results lists differ based on whether or not the user has been authorised (either by logging in or being inside organisation’s IP range). • Not all login methods available in Finnaauthorise the user. • Solution: • We guide the users to authorise themselves when showing the results. • To ensure the access to all restricted content by one login, we make use of proxy settings when creating outbound links.

  21. How to bring meta search into mix? • Not all licensed content is in PCI, so we sometimes need meta searches, as well • Meta searches are slow compared to indexed content • No relevant filtering options available • Solution: • We use Ajax to inform the users about ongoing search process • The default set can be customised by the customer organisationto contain the most relevant content not available in other indices. • We provide a list of databases harvested from the organisation’ MetaLib instance to access and search the native interfaces

  22. Usability Design • Usability development is a continuing processthat requires iteration • User interface design often requires re-design based on user feedback to make the software more efficient and intuitive for all user groups. • Both objective and subjective feedback is needed • Usability tests (including e.g. observation, recording, thinking aloud) • Heuristic evaluation • Testing prototypes

  23. Usability tests in Finna • What has been done? • 1 usability test by a professional company • 1 broad accessibility test by students of user centered design • 3 smaller studies researching the behaviour of actual users designed and executed by students of user centered design

  24. Usability tests in Finna • What next? • Contextual research with researchers (heavy users) • Structured interview • Structured usability test • Focuses on library and academic content search • Outputs: • User scenarios • Descriptions of databases and user behaviour relevant to each discipline • Smaller usability studies in co-operation with students / universities or companies specialised in user experience

  25. Towards successful library services • Usability design is an important part of service design • Searching library databases is one step in the process towards successful user experience in library services. • Finding a book online might still require an actual visit to the library. This visit is at least equally important when users form their subjective opinion on library services! • To ensure a good user and service experience, each step on the service string should fulfill the user needs!

  26. DEMO:

  27. Questions?

  28. Thankyou! Anna Pienimäki & Aleksi Turpeinen The National Library of Finland