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Search Assistant Working Group

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Search Assistant Working Group Meeting Minutes

July 24, 2007

Present: Susan Avery, Kathleen Kern (chair), Bill Mischo, Katie Newman, Nancy O'Brien, Peggy Steele, Nathan Yarasavage

1.  Second Level Page:

The main focus of the meeting was defining the second level page.  For semantic purposes it was decided to refer to this page as the Easy Search Home Page.

a.  How to let users know what is being searched:

The discussion focused on use of the mouse-over as it now exists, use of a clickable I, or adding (info) in a smaller font next to each subject name.  The group decided the (info) would be clearer to users and this change will be added to the interface.

b.  Subjects to be implemented in initial roll-out:

The initial roll-out will not include a comprehensive subject list, but rather provide others in the library with the opportunity to try the search and see how it works.  The ability to add additional subjects will be announced and libraries will be provided with the opportunity to request subject lists to be added.

c.  Purpose of Easy Search:

In the interest of simplicity it was decided the purpose of Easy Search was to provide less sophisticated users with an entry point for database searching.  The small number of preselected databases in each subject area will provide users with a starting point that will yield results.

2.  Easy Search on gateway page and Easy Search home page.

a.  Defining the purpose of Easy Search on gateway page and Easy Search home page.

The Easy Search home page can provide more information than what is available via the Easy Search on the gateway page.  For example:  a link to other databases for a subject.

b.  Consistency in look of Easy Search on gateway page and Easy Search home page.

The need to provide consistency in the look of both of the links was brought up.   No decisions were made at this time.

3.  Changes to Easy Search interface.

The following changes were agreed on for the existing interface:

1.      Change Undergraduate search to General Sources

2.      Alphabetize subject searches

3.      Remove the word "journal" from searches

4.      Add a line/indicator between the subject list and the Newspapers search.

5.      Advanced Link on gateway page will be removed to add the drop-down subject list.

4.  Future concerns and considerations

In the interest of keeping the group's work within its initial charge it was decided that we need to focus on the task at hand.  There may be additional recommendations that we make following the implementations of Easy Search.  These could include a means to allow users to select from all of the databases related to a specific discipline and other options to search selected databases in multiple disciplines.  (i.e. Tough Search)

Should the drop-down menu on the gateway page include broad subject categories or simply list subjects?  No decision was made regarding this question.

5.  Next meeting

Kathleen will not be available to meet next week.  Nathan will send out mockups of pages which can be discussed via e-mail, rather than holding a separate meeting.

Bill will be sending out articles and/or links that will provide information on the experiences of others (including user testing) that may provide information to inform our decisions.

Susan Avery,