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  1. Wes Osborn
  2. Sierra/ Millennium/ Encore
  3. Tuesday, April 03 2018, 07:46 AM
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Was anyone else as underwhelmed as I was about Discovery Proof of Concept that was shown last week during the quarterly update? In particular the "web/cloud" view to me was very reminiscent of Aquabrowser which had a similar feature almost a decade ago*. It felt like they were trying to bolt on some sort of visual component in order to prove that you needed to have linked data.

As a public library consortium what I was really looking for was something that provided better search relevancy and offered more intelligent filtering/limiting features.

*Note: Aquabrowser did have some pretty great tools for tweaking the searching algorithm and I think they might have eventually dropped the whole cloud/web thing.

wosborn@clcohio.org
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I was definitely underwhelmed, and in fact posted a question in the Chat box mentioning the comparison to Aquabrowser and why they would even go in that direction. (They didn't bring up my question--though, it was only posted in the final minute or two as she was trying to quickly close the session.)
I wish that their development folks could sit down with a few us out in the real world and understand some of the things that we really want--without being interpreted up and down the chain or run through large online vetting software that just muddies the waters. I agree that they are going down the wrong trail!
Michael A.

Michael Ayres | Technical Services Manager
Irving Public Library System
mayres@cityofirving.org


mayres@cityofirving.org
  1. Michael Ayres
  2. 1 week ago
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Trevor Diamond Accepted Answer
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Thanks for mentioning Aquabrowser! I had that memory floating in the back of my head for a few days. I was trying to remember the name of the product (it's been years since I saw a demo).

I thought it was kind of interesting, but it didn't blow me away by any means. I've tried to train myself to take a "wait and see" approach to new things, since my particular ways of searching and understanding of the database aren't shared by the average patron, I'm happy to try out new tools which might enable to find what they want, in a better way.

The best use case examples they share when talking about the product are academic, in my opinion (meaning they are about research or looking for information). With the interface coming out for Sierra first, and Polaris later (I think? Did I make that up?), my impressions get a little stronger.

The top filter on my wishlist right now is a customizable "local" category for libraries. So the results list highlights the "local" availability (in the particular building), but you have a quick/easy reference to limit to geographically contiguous libraries/branches (so that you can limit your results to items within a few miles of you, but not necessarily in the single building you were initially highlighting for).

Trevor D
--
Trevor Diamond
Systems/UX Librarian
MAIN (Morris Automated Information Network), Morristown NJ
http://www.mainlib.org

trevor.diamond@mainlib.org
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Joe Montibello Accepted Answer
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Hi,

I'm definitely of the "wait and see" school, but my first impression was that I don't know if dividing things into people, concepts and resources is going to be a useful/intuitive approach for our patrons. I worry that we're going to have to help patrons understand this interface before they'll see benefits from it.

I'm definitely more interested in what the new tool's relevance algorithms do that's different from what we have now (webpac), rather than the visual search/browse navigation they showed. I'll be looking forward to hearing more at IUG about this new discovery thing, including what the cost model is for libraries moving from webpac, Encore, or Encore Duet to the new discovery thing.

Anyway, just my two cents. Take care,
Joe M.

joseph.montibello@dartmouth.edu
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Wes Osborn Accepted Answer
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My only concern with "wait and see" is having them sink tons of development resources into something that nobody really wants aside from it potentially looking cool to someone during a three minute demo. What agile "story" lead them to this design? What is the end result they're going for here?

I worry that they're heading down the wrong trail so far. I can't think of another search interface that folks commonly use that presents information in the way they were demoing. And I doubt that a relatively small library software company is going to come up with a revolutionary user experience that will define the way all other search tools work in the future.

wosborn@clcohio.org
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Jeremy Goldstein Accepted Answer
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We were making Aquabrowser comparisons here as well and generally found that display underwhelming. On the other hand I'm actually excited to see that Innovative is focusing on the potential search capabilities of linked data as opposed to simply promoting it as a means to get results into Google.

jgoldstein@minlib.net
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Trevor Diamond Accepted Answer
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There wasn't an example story in the update (and the screenshots weren't telling a story on their own, in my opinion), but the story Harnish used was a film student doing a project on a particular production of Swan Lake, and then comparing other productions of the same ballet, or other ballets by the same director, or other productions with the same "twist" (I forget what the interpretation was specifically called). It was a nice case, when I heard it, but had limited public library utility (at least in my limited public library reference desk experience).

Eskander mentioned that the user experience had been updated based on feedback, it would be interesting to know what their other personas/use stories are.


Trevor D
--
Trevor Diamond
Systems/UX Librarian
MAIN (Morris Automated Information Network), Morristown NJ
http://www.mainlib.org

trevor.diamond@mainlib.org
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Wes Osborn Accepted Answer
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I'd say that Plex does a pretty compelling job of displaying "linked" data in a way that seems more actionable, consistent and compelling than the screenshots I saw in the demo:

https://i.imgur.com/1cap4XL.png

wosborn@clcohio.org

wosborn@clcohio.org
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Alison Pruntel Accepted Answer
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Also underwhelmed, but I'm a "glass half empty" sort of person when it comes to III. My main concern is that when they say "new" discovery interface (vs. improving/taking Encore and WebPAC to at least an industry-standard level), that means an additional cost.

Alison Pruntel
Library Systems Administrator
Fauquier County Public Library
11 Winchester St.
Warrenton, VA 20186
540.422.8515
https://fauquierlibrary.org

alison.pruntel@fauquiercounty.gov
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Teresa Coberly Accepted Answer
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We used Aquabrowser for a number of years and turned off the Word Cloud about two months after implementation. It took up screen space and very few people understood or used it.

teresa.coberly@colorado.edu
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