Tate Nunley onTate’s Space is blogging from LITA 2005 National Forum. In his LITA Forum 2005 – Roy Tennant Keynote posting he reports some comments from Roy Tennant, of California Digital Library, which echo many of my thoughts on OPAC design.
We need to stop putting lipstick on pigs. Stop spending time tweaking systems that are broken, limited, outdated. As librarians we spend a lot of time trying to fix systems that are inherently flawed. A good example is the OPAC. Small changes rob time from more profitable activities and we find that we are often going in the completely wrong direction.
Be User focused. Part of the reason that OPAC’s are poor, we apply our standards as professionals to an interface that are used by general population – population that does not have time to learn what we know. Only librarians like to search – everyone else wants to find.