Modernized interface provides an elegant, immersive user experience

Cathy King /

Today’s library users expect immediate access to information, personalized to their specific needs, and delivered exactly in the way they prefer. These expectations are, in large part, based on interactions with major commercial services used every day—from food ordering and contactless delivery to retail shopping and one-click purchasing, and so much more. Information seeking is just one among many activities performed in overlapping, always-on, customer-friendly environments. 

To attract, impress, and retain those users, library services and collections need to be ubiquitous, available on-demand, and of value to users. In the case of discovery, users expect an intuitive experience that delivers easy-to-use, predictable ways to conduct and narrow searches, and embeds library resources and applications within services and tools that information seekers use every day. Users want to see results displayed or ranked according to their preferred delivery format, along with other contextual options.

To deliver a search experience that is not only intuitive and smart, but also one that is elegant and immersive, we’ve been working to redesign the WorldCat Discovery interface to meet the expectations of modern-day users by providing an experience akin to what they expect from everyday sites across the Web. To enable this, we’re leveraging Material Design, an opensource design language developed by Google that offers a consistent, familiar look that users find more comfortable and usable. In addition, we’ll achieve further compliance with WCAG 2.1 accessibility guidelines that ensure a consistent, meaningful, and productive experience for all users.

Our initial focus during this iterative development approach is to implement these updates in the search results and item details pages, which encompass ~80% of user activity in WorldCat Discovery. From a user perspective, these enhancements will deliver more intuitive options for finding and getting needed items at the most convenient location(s), as well as enable a fulfillment experience that helps identify locally owned editions for works and easily determine which copies of an item are available at specific library locations. From a library perspective, the modernized interface will allow for more robust configuration options, better leverage metadata to promote descriptions, and help streamline the fulfillment process.

We invite our WorldCat Discovery libraries to view screenshots of the new interface and register for the 3 December 2020 Product Insights session, during which we will offer a live demo of the new interface and share how to enable a preview for users.

See screenshots and register for Product Insights