HLG Poster on Ovid SP redesign and how we adapted

In Evidence-Based Librarianship, HLG 2008 on August 15, 2008 by Danielle Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Let me warn you that the following might count as shameless self-promotion. I have caved and uploaded a PDF of a poster that I presented at last month’s Health Libraries Group conference.

The poster reports the results of an online survey I’ve done (in May) to ask the opinion of expert searchers on the (then) recent redesign and relaunch of Ovid SP. My focus was on ease of use, whether a change has had an impact on the user’s search, accuracy, and what users have done, if anything, to adapt to the new interface.

While the survey was successful in reaching plenty of people via email discussion lists (listservs in IS parlance), it was less successful in enticing participants to complete the entire survey. Less than half of participants completed it.

Results were quite heterogeneous–some folks liked the redesign, some stated that the changes had had ‘no impact’ on their searches, but then admitted that the changes were ‘annoying’ and some said that they found the new design more time consuming or that it made poor use of ‘screen real estate’.

Doing the survey has been a fun process that has brought me in touch with informaticists far and wide. It also let me try my luck at condensing some very diverging thoughts on Ovid SP in a meaningful way.

Ovid SP has again changed its configuration as of yesterday, to put the Search History back, to above the text box, where it was in Ovid Gateway. Hopefully, the 31% of folks who ‘accidentally scrolled down instead of up’ when entering lines of their search can now go back to normal. And as for the 53% who ‘have learned to look for it at the top’–it appears to be moveable, so you could move it back to where it is most comfortable.

Reference Manager has moved from the left hand side of the page to right under the limit options–and it can be minimised. Will the folks who look for it at the bottom of the page (where it was in Ovid Gateway) be pleased?

Thank you, all, for your input in the survey. And feel free to let me know how you are getting on with the recent changes to the Search History and Reference Manager. There is also a new multi-field search–but that is asking a bit too much in the way of changing my comfortable habits!

Ovid's new layout-- note the moveable search history box


PDF Poster on Adaptations to the redesign of Ovid SP


3 Responses to “HLG Poster on Ovid SP redesign and how we adapted”

  1. First, the August version is even slower than the February was. I know that it’s impossible, but I wish I could have two computers, one for searching ovid and waiting for the next screen/results to show up, one for the rest of my work.
    One of the reasons behind the slowness may be the screen with multiple boxes, another, outsourcing the computer system now operating without the old ovid experience team.
    The tip box with the useless tips should be removed and I would like very much to learn how to do this. Is taking space and making system slower (one more box to display), but I think is there to stay. From one of the hallway talk at the Annual Meeting I learned that the box was created for advertising (commercials?)-ovid need to recover the cost of all these (unnecessary) changes.
    Re the August version; why when displaying citations, we gat one Results Manager on the top, one on the bottom? Nobody looking for the Search Screen? I do.

  2. Hi Vislava,

    That is interesting about Ovid saving room for advertising. I find that quite inappropriate, considering the fact we pay to subscribe to Ovid because it is presumably more convenient than the alternatives. This is a privilege that should include access to an ad-free space.

    Just to reiterate, when asked “if you could change one thing about Ovid what would it be”, 17% of folks (the highest percentage that agreed on any one thing) wanted Ovid Tips gone. One or two respondents suggested they know how to remove it, but they weren’t clear on how to do this.

    I also find the August update of Ovid to be slower than the previous version. I am hoping that this will be ironed out. As we have 2 Ovid accounts (it’s complicated) I’ll sometimes search one in one tab and the other in another.

  3. […] But, as Danielle points out at her (shared) blog “The healthinformaticist“, the response was quite heterogenous, what was “annoying” to one person was “fine” to another! And vice versa! […]

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