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Hi John,

Thanks for your comments.  Our goals document for the project listed a
number of items that were based on user and staff (one of our biggest user
groups) comments and feedback over several years.  I don’t think it’d be
going out on a limb to say these would be common concerns for most
repositories.  Our high priority items included:

* Lack of access to digital content
* Poor relevancy ranking from search results.
* Difficulty interpreting search results
* More flexible and modular displays of finding aids
* Enhancement of web analytics to create meaningful use statistics.

I should clarify that we did not do extensive formal testing on the old
interface.  This made sense for us given various staffing and resource
issues and the project timeline, but also because we felt that there is a
solid body of knowledge about the ways various user groups interact with
archival finding aids.  Jennifer Schaffner’s “The Metadata is the
Interface” does a good job of reviewing these.  We also had recently done
our own literature review. As Jennifer writes about her own literature
review, as it “got underway, it soon became evident that we already know
most of what we need to know in order to get started making changes.”

So, instead of focusing our testing on the old interface, and its
documented issues, we focused on testing prototypes of the new interface
which helped us refine and improve the system as it was developing.

Hope this helps,

Dan


On Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 4:20 PM, Rees, John (NIH/NLM) [E] <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Dan:****
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> Congratulations on getting this out the door. It would be great to learn
> more about what your ‘testing and evaluation’ told you about customer
> desires and how that was incorporated into your design (he said selfishly
> before embarking on his own redesign project). This is so much different
> than your previous site, so how were your users not satisfied in the past?
> ****
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> John****
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> ** **
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> ** **
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> John P. Rees****
>
> Archivist and Digital Resources Manager****
>
> History of Medicine Division****
>
> National Library of Medicine****
>
> ** **
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> ** **
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> ** **
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