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BHO Issue 5: ‘There are no shortcuts within a source other than to the volumes therein’

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Page

Source

Heuristic

Learnability

Description

If a source is structured by theme, then the only way to find a specific theme is to go through each volume’s table of contents looking for it. This is frustrating as the publication sequence of sources is often not the same sequence as its structure.

Impact severity

High

Recommend

Where a source has a structure which can be defined as a theme and where that structure is not followed by the publication sequence of the volumes, enable a list-based device which supports quicker navigation (i.e. one click).

Examples

The volumes from the Catalogue of Ancient Deeds list records from different departments in varying amounts, e.g. A.1 – A.1819, B.1 – B.1798.

The categories of deed are split inconsistently across publications

Quantitative measure

You have found the Catalogue of Ancient Deeds. Click on the volume which contains the deed C.3000

Actual question

Using the ‘Catalogue of Ancient Deeds’, please click on where you’d expect to find the deed C.3000

Initial click test result (‘before’)

July 2011, 200 responses.

‘Before’

Development change

Insertion of new tagging structure at the head of the volume list; clicking a category filters the publication list accordingly (Catalogue of Ancient Deeds on British History Online).

Modified interface

 

Follow-up click test result (‘after’)

September 2011, 154 responses.

‘After’

Reflection

Movement away from the search facility and onto the new tagging structure but perhaps signposting is not clear enough and again, the overall impression is that the control area of the page (i.e. search text box, tagging, sorting etc) is not meshed into one unit. The tagging section looks closer to the listings that the control section.

This process seems to be generating as many development points as it was supposed to solve!