On Wed, 16 Mar 2011, Hiten Vaghmaria wrote:

> We would also welcome any comments you may have on the changes we're
> proposing. You can see a development version of our next release here:

I hope this new release addresses usability issues with the individual 
pages listing a resource. It seems that an enormous amount of vertical 
space and text is used to convey relatively little information. I can't 
get the licence to appear in the first screenful, for example. The pages 
seem to have been designed primarily to be machine-readable. Human users 
would benefit from some changes, and I think suggestions have been made 
in previous user consultations.

1. Show full item record: probably the least important link on the page, 
but given top billing. Why not remove this one and leave the duplicate 
at the foot of the page?

2. Share: Are Delicious and Twitter so important that users need two 
links to share the current page through them?

3. Click on the title (the instinctive thing to do) and nothing happens.

4. Keywords: When the keyword is a phrase sometimes it contains a space, 
sometimes an underscore, e.g. adaptive_radiation . It just takes one 
line of code to make this consistent.

5. Per Pat Lockley's comments, do users really want to read through all 
the keywords associated with an item before finding a download or 
preview link for the item itself?

6. Date: It would only take a couple of lines of code to generate a more 
human-readable date.

7. I and others have in the past raised the question of what "date" in 
this context means (i.e. date of what?) Has there been any decision 
taken as a result of this?

8. Package Download / Package Preview : the most important links on the 
page, presented as images which, due to habits learned on other sites, 
one tends to ignore because images of that size are usually adverts.

9. Why "package download" and not just "download"? Oh, I get it: 
"package download" must apply when the resource is a content package and 
"download" when it's just a simple file. But hang on, I still get 
"package download" for a single image. I try to download a 100kB image; 
I'm told "As some resources are quite large in size it can take some 
time to prepare them for download." Seems like this site doesn't want me 
to have this file.

10. "Licence note:" what work does "note" do here?

11-12. The licence note is the most baffling aspect of the whole thing. 
In the resources I'm looking at there are two sections of the page 
dealing with the licence, and you follow an internal link from an 
uninformative one to the one that gives you the information you want. 
Not hard to see how to make a usabilty improvement here.

13. "This resource has been shared under a specific licence." as opposed 
to what other kind of licence?

14. "Files in this item: Show file list" Too many words. Why not just 
"File list" with an icon?

15. What's the sense of a "file list" when there's only one file, e.g. 
an image or a readme?

16. "Terms of service Terms of service": too many words.

17. "This item appears in the following Subject(s)": what work is done 
by the first six words?

18. "Show full item record" : "Show" as opposed to what?

19. Side navigation: what work is done by the unlinked word "Browse"?

Moving away from the individual record pages:

20. There are resources called "test", "test object" and "test link". 
They aren't just there because it's a development server: they're in the 
live database as well.

21. Search results show the same interest in spreading things across a 
lot of vertical space: the "Go" button given its own line, for example. 
I thought it might just be Firefox formatting, but other browsers have 
this as well.

22. "Your query "((psychology))" produced 287 result(s)." and "Search 
results" on two separate lines. Why is the second one necessary?

23. In search results: "Now showing items 1-10 of 1137": What work is 
done by "Now showing"?

24. In the psychology query I tried, the first page had four identical 
results ( ) It only takes a 
couple of lines of code to detect these duplicates.

25. Please "login": on my screen, "login" in blue is hard to make out 
against cyan background.

Dr Martin L Poulter                ICT Manager, The Economics Network
Based at the ILRT, University of Bristol:

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